Newcomer Power Lion roars to $6 win
It's rare for an unraced newcomer to debut at the ridiculous odds of $6 for a win.
Even champion gallopers Rocket Man and Super Easy did not start at such short odds when they made their debuts in October 2008 and August 2011 respectively.
One of those who started at $6 first time out in August 2009 was Better Than Ever, who went to post a record 12 straight wins.
Better Than Ever also started at the same price for his next three wins. He paid $6 in 10 of his 12 straight wins. He returned $7 and $8 for two others.
In all, Better Than Ever won 16 of his 25 races at Kranji.
Yesterday, leading trainer Alwin Tan's newcomer POWER LION joined the elite list of $6 debut runners in Race 2 - and won.
Ridden by jockey Danny Beasley, the strapping three-year-old New Zealand-bred travelled in midfield early and was trapped wide. The John O'Hara-trained Golden Star led.
The Bruce Marsh-trained Assertive Lad overtook the leader shortly after straightening.
By then, Beasley had brought Power Lion up wide to challenge.
A couple of reminders of the whip sent Power Lion roaring away from the 250m mark to beat Assertive Lad by one and three-quarter lengths in the Restricted Maiden event over 1,200m on the Polytrack.
Said Tan: "He's a big horse, a big strider and he takes a bit of time to wind up. I told Beasley not to worry and just sit and wait."
Bought as a trial winner from New Zealand, Power Lion was tuned up with two trials (a third and a win) at Kranji.
"He was still not 100 per cent and I put him through two trials," said Tan.
"In his second trial, I put the blinkers and the rider said it helped him a lot."
Beasley paid tribute to Tan and his staff for turning the bay gelding by Danroad up nice and relaxed for the race.
Said Beasley: "He was a bit hot when he first came here. They sort of settled him down really good towards the race."
But it wasn't easy for his mount, with the wide passage.
"He never had an easy trip and, for a first starter, he has done a really good job to overcome all the difficulties," said the Australian.
"I reckoned Bruce's horse is a pretty nice horse. I was a bit worried about him before the race and he ran exceptionally well in it, and he beat the rest by six lengths."
On his chances on the favourite War Affair in tomorrow's $350,000 Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic over 1,400m - the second leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge - Beasley sounded optimistic.
He has good reasons to, particularly after the O'Reilly gelding thrashed the opposition in the first leg, the $250,000 Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint over 1,200m on March 30.
Said Beasley: "I am definitely looking to War Affair. At the moment, he is my highlight horse and he's doing really well and, yeah, if this rain keeps up, all the better. O'Reillys, they just grow fins when there is rain."