Hard work pays off for Yeoh and Saimee
Anonymous wins after a 12-month drought
It was the reward for being patient when warm favourite ANONYMOUS won the Open Benchmark 67 sprint over 1,200m on Friday.
It took patience on the part of his trainer Sonny Yeoh and his assistant Saimee Jumaat.
Indeed, it was a year ago that Anonymous last saluted and, in the space of those 12 months, a lot of painstaking work went into getting him, not just ready to race but, ready to win again.
RISE TO THE OCCASION
Saimee said Anonymous was by no means a bombproof horse to train, especially at the barriers, but he's the type who can rise to the occasion when things go his way.
"It's well documented he is a problem horse, but we've managed to sort him out at the barriers," said Saimee, himself a former Singapore champion jockey.
"He's a work in progress and Vlad (Duric) gave him a beautiful ride. We have persevered with him, coaxing him along, it was not easy, but we had a big team behind us and it paid off."
Saimee will soon be helming his own yard as he was recently allocated stables by the Singapore Turf Club. The new trainer officially starts operations on Aug 1, along with fellow Singaporean Young Keah Yong while Malaysian Tan Kah Soon kicks off one month later on Sept 1.
"I'm looking forward to that. It's exciting days ahead!", he said.
While Saimee boasts eight premiership titles as a jockey, Duric, who rode Anonymous, is at his fifth Singapore season, and has yet to claim a jockeys' title.
But going on his current white-hot form, the Australian jockey has certainly taken one big step towards it.
Renowned for his strong whip-riding, Duric was seen at his finest on his trio of winners on Friday, especially Anonymous when Jelly Bean ranged upsides with a stinging run.
"Anonymous is not the easiest horse to ride. He had his head a bit awkward in his barrier," he said.
"The second horse (Jelly Bean) dived late at him, but he held on good. He was well prepared by Sonny and Saimee."
Yeoh began the 2017 season with a bang by taking out the opening race with Special Force, followed by three more in the space of two weeks, but the pace slackened up a little afterwards.
Anonymous - a five-year-old by I Am Invincible - was Yeoh's 13th win for the year.