Sometimes the simplest of instructions are all you need to get a winner.
Trainer Cliff Brown did just that with his apprentice jockey Nuh Komari just before he gave him a leg-up aboard rank-outsider Tales Of Summer in the parade ring on Sunday. Nothing fancy: “Just go and have fun, and godspeed.”
Nuh, whose nickname at the Brown yard is “Roy”, must have felt relieved the big boss did not tie him down with too many directives on a $301 chance who was up in class first-up after two and a half months of rest.
Tales Of Summer (Nuh Komari) springs a major upset in Race 7, picture Singapore Turf Club
Knowing that the Tale Of The Cat six-year-old does have good gate speed, Nuh capitalised on that asset to drive him to the lead, which they found rather easily in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1200m.
Favourite Paparazzi (John Powell) was quick to stay in his slipstream with Lim’s Blast (Barend Vorster) and Justice Light (Vlad Duric) next in line.
When Brown’s Australian-bred six-year-old actually pinched another couple of lengths at the 500m, the alarm bells were still not ringing. The kid probably went a touch too soon, and the heavy hitters would soon bring him back.
That scenario never eventuated.
Paparazzi was chipping away at the lead, but at not a rate quick enough to reel Tales Of Summer in. Lim’s Dashing (Nooresh Juglall) jumped out of the ground, and his turn of foot was on the other hand more incisive, but he had left it too late.
You could hear a pin drop as Tales Of Summer rolled in with one length to spare from Lim’s Dashing with Paparazzi third another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 8.93secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
A beaming Brown could not be more delighted for his apprentice jockey, whose first and only previous winner Certainly (also for Brown) came at even bigger odds - $391 – last October.
“I was not confident at all, but I just told Roy to go and enjoy the ride,” said Brown.
“They had a solid hit-out and here we are. He’s done a really good job.
“I thought he went for home a bit early before the turn, but he kept riding the horse out and it’s paid off. It’s very rare for these kids to get a win and I’m really rapt for him.”
Nuh was no doubt even happier with the result, even if nothing would ever come close to Certainly’s.
“On the day Certainly won, my wife gave birth to my third son (fourth child). I named him Nadeem after Certainly’s sire,” said the young Singaporean.
“It’s also a big thrill to win my second race today and a big thank you to my boss and the team for their support.
“He led like this in a trial. I never saw my rivals, and with the light weight, he just kept going.
“It’s the boss who gave me the positive suggestion how to ride this horse. I just followed the instructions.
“Thank you to Michael Rodd too as he gives me a lot of help in both trackwork and race-riding.”
A four-time winner in Australia, Tales Of Summer has not quite been as prolific at Kranji. The six-year-old was only picking up his second local win in 23 starts for stakes earnings that have now tipped over the $110,000 mark for the Divided House Stable.