One last hur-Rar before Young days ahead

Black type winner and rising nine-year-old One Rar bade farewell to his trainer Shane Baertschiger with the perfect parting present on Sunday.

Beginning his Kranji racing career on the second last day of the 2012 season on December 14, the 2014 Group 3 Causeway Classic Stakes winner was clocking in his 47th and final start for the Australian handler in the $60,000 Open Benchmark 67 race over 1800m.

The now eight-time winner’s next race will from now on come under a different banner as Baertschiger had before Sunday already given him as a “free transfer” to newly-licensed trainer Young Keah Yong.

One Rar (Syafiq Hazman) puts his best foot forward for one last time for Shane Baertschiger, picture Singapore Turf Club

Trainer Desmond Koh’s former assistant-trainer officially started operations on July 1 but does not expect to have his first runners until September, busier for now with building up his team of horses.

Having not scored since January 18, 2015 – representing a winless run of 23 starts - the son of Dane Shadow finally got his winning mood back, ironically on the day the party streamers and auld lang syne were ready to pop at the stables.

“Here’s a story for you. The old boy’s going to Ah Young!” said Baertschiger who knows the rookie trainer well for having been his next-door neighbour during the time he was at Koh’s yard.

“Ah Young has no horses, and I decided to give him One Rar. I spoke with (owner) Geoff (Grimish) and he was okay with that. Geoff will still race his other horses Flak Jacket and War Story with me.

“The horse was getting old, but he is still sound as you could see today. He won at his last race for me!

“He was down in grade, and the kid (apprentice jockey Syafiq Hazman) rode him good.”

After settling in an ideal spot trucking up behind leader O’Reilly Bay (A’Isisuhairi Kasim), One Rar ($77), a name given as a nod to the first Batallion of the Royal Australian Regiment, looked beaten after he suddenly dropped off when Duke Of Normandy (Manoel Nunes) and $17 favourite Super Joe (Barend Vorster) went vying for the top prize.

But well ridden by the young Syafiq, One Rar finally switched back on at the 200m to poke his neck in front, prevailing by three parts of a length from the fast-finishing Wonderful Era (John Powell) with Billy Britain (Alan Munro) third another head away. The winning time was 1min 52.67secs for the 1800m on the Polytrack.

“The plan was to take a sit and everything worked out well. I was happy to take a drop on Harry’s (A’Isisuhairi) horse (O’Reilly Bay),” said the three-kilo-claiming Syafiq who was bringing up his tally to four wins, all for his master Baertschiger.

“They quickened up down the back, but I did not go with them. I wanted to wait a little longer.

“But in the straight, he took a while to get going. I thought he was beat, but he accelerated at the right time and won a nice race.

“It was a nice last win for us before he goes to Ah Young.”

Whether he will be registered under another name for his new owner remains to be seen, but One Rar, a one-time winner in Australia before coming to Singapore, has has seen his local stakes earnings tip just over the half-million mark at his swan song for Baertschiger and Grimish.