Mokastar back in his element

A return to Polytrack and easier company paved the way to a gutsy win from honest sprinter Mokastar on Friday night.

After the son of Poet’s Voice did not measure up in the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) on March 30, running last of 16 to Be Bee, trainer Ricardo Le Grange wisely dropped him out of the remaining Legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge.

The second Leg, the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) will be run this Sunday with Le Grange already well represented with a strong trio made up of King Louis, Tesoro Privado and Captain Jamie. 

Mokastar (Barend Vorster) holds off Effortless (Matthew Kellady) to come out tops in Race 6, picture Singapore Turf Club

The South African handler did not keep the Tmen Stable-owned Mokastar at the stables, though, instead lowering his aim towards a more realistic goal in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1100m.

Sent out as the $12 favourite, Mokastar did not let his supporters down with another trademark big-hearted win at the business end.

Taking a drop on Wonderful Knight (Iskandar Rosman) from the off, Mokastar enjoyed an economical run on the fence, and when jockey Barend Vorster went for the stick in the home straight, a very responsive competitor stepped up to the plate.

Sprinting past Wonderful Knight with ease, he had to, however, dig deeper to thwart a late scorcher from $196 outsider Effortless (Matthew Kellady) on the rails, in the end prevailing by half-a-length. Himalaya Dragon (Alan Munro) was again thereabouts, finishing third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 5.11secs for the 1100m on Polytrack.

“It’s a dream to own and train a horse like Mokastar,” said Le Grange.

“He always brings his A-game on raceday. Once again, I’d like to thank Mark and Emily Yong for their support and it was another great ride from Barend.”

Just one rung below the Top 10, the South African jockey does not pick up winners by the spades, but the Kranji stalwart has slowly been chipping away with regular visits to the winner’s circle this season. Mokastar was ringing up his 10th win for 2018.

“This horse always tries hard. He keeps moving and that’s all you can ask for,” said Vorster.

Mokastar’s fourth win in only 13 starts has swollen his bank account past the quarter of a million mark for the Tmen Stable.