Well-backed favourite Eye Guy did not let his backers down with an all-the-way win, albeit in a drama-filled Race 5 on Sunday.
The fleet-footed Bradbury’s Luck three-year-old was never in doubt once he settled on the steel from barrier No 1 for jockey Mohd Zaki, but there were a few very anxious moments just a couple of lengths astern at the 600m mark when Chariots Of Fire stumbled badly sending his rider, apprentice jockey Khalid Marzuki crashing heavily to the turf.
The race fall hampered two runners Triple Trio (Glen Boss) and King’s Speech (Daniel Moor) who were quickly eased out of the race while upfront, Eye Guy ($13), unperturbed and oblivious to the drama unfolding behind, kept attacking the line with gusto, bravely holding at bay the two-pronged challenges from Taro San (Ryan Curatolo) on the inside and Crazy Dreams (Troy See) on the outside.
Mohd Zaki screams Eye Guy to the line on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club
Eye Guy held on gamely to secure his second win from three starts by 1 ¼ lengths from Taro San while Crazy Dreams and Heartlight (Vlad Duric) fell away, unable to sustain their runs, leaving the way to longshot Verizon (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) to charge home late another 1 ¼ lengths away, pipping The Odds (Michael Rodd) for third place by a head.
The winning time was 1min 10.49secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
Trainer Michael Clements was obviously pleased with Joe Giovanni’s latest pride and joy’s gutsy run, while a little disappointed his second runner Triple Trio ($40) did not get a chance to showcase his potential, after being one of the most affected runners in the backwash.
“He’s picked up nicely from his last win. It was a strong race today, but he did a good job to go all the way,” said the Zimbabwean-born handler.
“We did fancy the stable companion, but he unfortunately got caught in the fall.”
Zaki does not often get atop such quality rides, but the Malaysian jockey memorably rode Eye Guy’s owner’s champion Countofmontecristo at his debut win, and does get thrown a bone from the Singaporean owner once in a while.
That latest win – his seventh this year – has certainly stimulated the normally soft-spoken Kelantan-born jockey in a most effusive victory speech after the win.
“The horse settled down very well and was very focused. I was very confident that he would be able to go all the way,” said Zaki.
“Thank you to the trainer and Joe Giovanni. They helped give me a good win.
“I really appreciate that.”
With that second win on Emirates Singapore Derby day, Eye Guy has already banked in close to $90,000 in prizemoney for Giovanni. His stablemate and fellow Giovanni-owned Countofmontecristo will attempt to give his connections even more joy in the Group 1 race over 1800m later in the afternoon.
It was reported that Khalid was sent to Khoo Teck Puat for precautionary checks. More updates will be made when they become available.
Chariots Of Fire unfortunately broke down, having badly hurt his near-fore leg, visually looking like it was a catastrophic injury.
A subsequent veterinary examination revealed that the horse returned with a fractured humerus and was lame near-fore. The Showcasing four-year-old was subsequently humanely euthanised.