The uncanny affinity between jockey Nooresh Juglall and his pet mare Queen Roulette again came to the fore in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1200m on Friday night.
With all the pre-race hype over the Be Bee-Lim’s Racer rematch, trainer Leslie Khoo’s charge had been a little forgotten, but the Ruwi four-year-old sure came with a smacking reminder she should not be left out of the equation when she snuck up on the inside to upstage the duelling pair in a tense three-way go.
Be Bee (John Powell), beaten half-a-length by Lim’s Racer (Noh Senari) at their last clash, was looking odds-on to exact his revenge with the pull in weights in his advantage when he slid up with a stout challenge outside Steven Burridge’s mare at the 300m mark.
Queen Roulette (Nooresh Juglall) strides past her rivals to claim the Class 3 race on Friday.
But with Noh wielding the whip hard in his left hand, Lim’s Racer went veering out and got into a bumping duel with Be Bee. The pair were so caught up in their own personal infighting that they had not realised they were about to be waylaid by Queen Roulette on the inside.
The trio lunged at the line, but it was Queen Roulette ($32) who touched the line first, with a neck to spare from Lim’s Racer with Be Bee third another neck away. The winning time was 1min 9.39secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.
After the race, Powell objected against Lim’s Racer for alleged interference, but the Stewards threw out his arguments during the protest hearing.
Juglall later said it was a well-calculated coup to drive through the inside as he knew of Lim’s Racer’s habit to hang out, but it was above all his great chemistry with Queen Roulette that was the biggest winning factor.
“I’ve always rated that filly very highly. She’s honest and has always run well for me for some reason,” said the Mauritian jockey.
“I really click with this filly, I don’t know why. I remember we beat a good horse like Skywalk before and I thought if she could run like that again, she could win tonight.
“I’m just glad for the owner (Trend Stable) and Mr Khoo that I was able to win with their filly again.
“Tonight, it was my plan to stay on the rails as I know Lim’s Racer tends to roll out under pressure. When she did that, I punched through the gap and Queen Roulette did the rest.”
There is every chance Khoo would now like to stick to the same formidable duo at Queen Roulette’s future outings.
“I’m glad for Nooresh as he needed a bit of luck. He hasn’t won a race for a while (since Mikcaipho on February 23),” said the former top jockey who was bringing up win No 7 for the year.
“I think he’s the only one who knows how to get the best out of this mare. I actually expected her to run a good race tonight.
“She went quite well on the Polytrack last time, and there were only two dangers in tonight’s race (Be Bee and Lim’s Racer).
“Things are going well for me at the moment. I’ve got a couple of new horses coming through and I hope they perform well for us.”
With that fifth victory under the belt, Queen Roulette has now taken her winnings just below the $280,000 mark for her connections.