After 11 misses including many near-hits, Kiss Your Song finally shed his maiden status in style on Friday night.
The Your Song three-year-old had always shown ability in his bracket, as can be seen from his handy place record of four seconds and three thirds, all at similar Restricted Maiden level, but had somehow bumped into better horses as hard as he tried to hit that elusive winning post first.
The recent formline building up to that first hurrah had been consistent, though, with two thirds and one second over 1000m strongly suggesting the barren run might soon be over.
Kiss Your Song (John Powell) is a maiden no more, picture Singapore Turf Club
The mood was, however, dampened when he drew out the worst in 12, but the stars were aligned in Friday’s $85,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1100m for Kiss Your Song.
Sparked up from the wide alley, the $18 second-favourite was settled without much fuss into the gun run by jockey John Powell, stalking up the speed set by $17 top-elect Gyarados (Saifudin Ismail) and stablemate Mr O’Reilly (Matthew Kellady).
Into the straight, the leaders were left standing when Kiss Your Song swept past them on his way to a most deserving maiden win. Conatus G (Wong Chin Chuen) ran second another 1 ½ lengths with Reign (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) third another 1 ¼ lengths away.
The winning time was 1min 5.93secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
Winning trainer Shane Baertschiger said a horse like Kiss Your Song may have frustrated connections (Bingo Stable) with the long winless run, but the minor prizemoney cheques still kept him well in the black.
“A one-time winner and around $140,000 in prizemoney - not too bad at all. We’ve got that $85,000 Restricted Maiden race out of the way, he will go to the paddocks now,” said the Australian handler.
“He has been unlucky and frustrating but he had excuses many times. Like at his last start, he gave the winner (Burkaan) more than seven kilos.
“One run back, he was beaten by Clarton Treasure who has won two out of two. So, he’s been showing good form, but he just kept running against better horses.
“The only concern tonight was the barrier, but JP gave him a gem of a ride. He was able to come across into a handy spot and from there, it was all over.”
Powell said Kiss Your Song was no world-beater but the writing had been on the wall for a while.
“He’s been knocking on the door, but has been unlucky with either bad draws or giving 7-8 kilos,” said the Australian hoop.
“I’m happy for the owners and I think the horse can go on from this first win. To me, he’s a 1000m horse but how far he can go class-wise, I’m not sure, but he may win a few more at that distance.”