Tan to gear Maximus up towards more ground after latest win

A cheeky ride from leading apprentice jockey Troy See saw Maximus take full advantage of a soft lead to go all the way in the $100,000 Kranji Stakes B race over 1600m on Sunday.


Taking the US-bred five-year-old by Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid straight to the head of the firing line from barrier rise, See threw out the anchors once he was able to steady the ship within the first two furlongs, going on to stack up the speed at his own leisure.


Even if Mighty Kenny (Krisna Thangamani) kept him company by settling on his girth, it was rather obvious from his fluid strides, Maximus was never taken out of his comfort zone. 

Maximus (Troy See) makes every post a winning one in the Kranji Stakes B race on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

Besides, that was to be the finishing order of the race in the end, a clear indication of the cheap sectionals Maximus had got away with for the best part of the mile journey.


At the corner, the backmarkers were facing an uphill battle when the $14 favourite immediately opened up to a commanding break once See let go the brakes. Mighty Kenny was the only one who was not left as flat-footed by the sudden burst, but he could only just put a small indent in the margin as well.


Maximus raced away to an easy 2 ½-length win from Mighty Kenny with Heracles (Mohd Firdaus) third another 2 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 40.89secs for the 1600m on the Polytrack.


The bubble on Black Swan (Noh Senari) burst this time around. One of the most improved horses in the last six months (from Class 5 to Kranji Stakes B), the Sebring five-year-old struggled to muster any roar from the engine when Maximus scooted off.


He finished a disappointing sixth 7 ½ lengths astern from the winner.


Maximus’s fifth win from 11 wins took his stakes earnings past the $230,000 mark for the IB Racing Stable while it also gave See his 10th win for the year as well as extended his lead in the Singapore champion apprentice log (two clear of Noh Senari who scored one win aboard Galaxy Express).


To the Singaporean rider, the uncontested lead he enjoyed in front went a long way in carving out the facile win.


“Nobody came to screw around with the pace. I was able to dictate the pace and it was catch-me-if-you-can in the straight,” said See.


“Barrier No 1 helped, he ticked all the right boxes today. He’s bred to stay and it didn’t surprise me to see him win the way he did.”


Winning trainer Alwin Tan for one has already mapped out the next chapter of Maximus’s racing career towards longer assignments.


“I think he’s a staying type. He keeps improving,” said the Singaporean handler who was incidentally combining with See for a double after they scored earlier with Lucky Master ($25) in the $20,000 Maiden race over 1100m.


“He also has some luck with Troy who rode him very well again today. I would like to test him over more ground at his future races.


“I haven’t really thought of a race. I will need to look at the programme.”