More wins for Emperor Max
One moment he thought he had pushed his mount EMPEROR MAX's head down to beat Slew Of Lode at the winning post.
But in the post-race interview, jockey Corey Brown (above) said he wasn't quite sure.
That was how close yesterday's $200,000 Group 3 Saas Fee Stakes over 1,400m in Race 9 was.
The photo-finish showed Emperor Max only a short head in front of Slew Of Lode.
Said Brown: "I thought I had my head down. I threw everything that I had body-wise. I thought I had won the race... but I wasn't quite sure."
Emperor Max disputed the lead with Nandowra and Hot Gold, before Nandowra kicked to a length in front of Emperor Max, with another length to Hot Gold, Born To Fly and Slew Of Lode in a bunch.
Brown moved Emperor Max up to overtake Nandowra turning for home. Jockey John Powell also got going on Slew Of Lode.
From the top of the straight, the two horses fought hammer and tongs to the post. Slew Of Lode appeared to pop his head in front at one stage but Brown managed to squeeze every ounce to secure Emperor Max his seventh Kranji victory.
Said Brown: "He has done very well. He was sort of beaten at about the 150m. Slew Of Lode got past him a good head and I put the whip away and really coached him along.
"At the end of the race, he really stuck his head out and lunged to the line good. There is still a lot of improvement in him.
"As I said after the first-up run, he sort of found it hard with a 100m to go, but today he ran to the line good, second-up over 1,400m. He is racing more and more like a miler every time he goes around but he's a lovely horse. He's been good to me.
"He travelled really well but, when my horse could feel Slew Of Lode coming around, he got really keen. Instead of fighting him, I got him into stride. If I had held him up, I reckon he would have got beaten by a big margin, so full credit to trainer Stephen (Gray) and his staff. They are going to have plenty of fun with him."