The Lim’s & Mark’s Stable saddled race-to-race winners at Kranji on Friday night when Country Quack and Swift Embrace landed the spoils one after another.
Country Quack ($25) was too good in the $45,000 Class 4 Non Premier race over 1100m before Swift Embrace ($11 favourite) brought the yellow and blue stars silks back to the winner’s enclosure in the $20,000 Open Maiden race over 1200m.
While the Daniel Meagher-trained Country Quack, a five-year-old by Outback Prince was at his second win in 11 starts, Swift Embrace, a four-year-old by Love Conquers All was posting his maiden win at his seventh start.
Swift Embrace (Ryan Curatolo) races past Ol Mate Buzzer (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) on his way to his
maiden win, picture Singapore Turf Club
Trainer Saimee Jumaat said that even if Swift Embrace was no world-beater, he had shown on a few occasions he was not all that devoid of ability, especially at his flying second to Satellite Prince three runs back in an Open Maiden race over 1100m.
It did, however, look that Swift Embrace had the job ahead when runaway leader Ol Mate Buzzer (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) swung for home looking like he still had plenty of petrol left in the tank.
Supporters of the top-elect had even more reasons to be concerned given Curatolo had been seen scrubbing his mount up from a long way out, and he still seemed to be making heavy weather of it halfway up the home straight.
But when Ol Mate Buzzer suddenly shortened strides, the lead just melted away with Swift Embrace the first to pounce and race away to a 2 ½-length win from the fast-finishing Qingdao (Vlad Duric). Ol Mate Buzzer held on for third place another length away. The winning time was 1min 15.13secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.
“From what he had showed me so far, I expected him to run well tonight in this moderate field. He was in good enough form to open his account,” said Saimee.
“He should be better over longer distances as he has the stamina on his side.”
Curatolo, who was returning from a two-day suspension, jumped off saying it was hard work to get Swift Embrace home.
“He is really lazy. I had to work hard on him for most of the race,” said the French jockey.
“But I knew the leader would stop as he went really fast.”
It was not just the Lim’s & Mark’s Stable who scored a brace as Meagher followed suit by also knocking in a second winner to his haul with Snip ($23) in the $60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1100m.
After the Snippetson four-year-old showed some toe at his last couple of starts by leading before fading late, different tactics were used from the wide alley this time.
Well ridden by comeback kid Mohd Firdaus in a handy spot behind race-favourite and debutant Dazzling Speed (Vlad Duric), Snip attacked the line with great aplomb inside the last 300m to beat Special Rain (Nooresh Juglall) by 1 ¾ lengths with Farees (John Powell) third another half-a-length away.
The winning time was 1min 6.41secs for the 1100m on Polytrack.
“I’ve been riding a few horses in trackwork for Mr Meagher, and it’s nice to be able to ride a winner for him,” said Firdaus who was only recently relicensed and is now indentured to champion trainer Mark Walker.
Previously attached to trainer Ricardo Le Grange, the Malaysian apprentice jockey, who had 46 winners between Malaysia and Singapore before his time on the sidelines (he was having a rethink about his future), was at his second winner at this new stint after getting off the mark aboard the Tan Kah Soon-trained Best Wishes on March 23.