Justice Fair outstays Class 4 rivals
Munro labels Yusof's charge as 'a good stayer in the making'
It's no secret that publicity-shy trainer Mohd Yusof has a good record with stayers.
The racing veteran certainly knows how to inject stamina into his horses and among the stayers he trained to become big-race winners were Smart Bet (2002 Singapore Derby and Singapore Gold Cup) and Noble Spirits (1994 Singapore Derby).
At Kranji last night, Yusof unearthed a stayer with potential in JUSTICE FAIR, who got up with a strong run to take the Class 4 event over 1,800m on the long course in Race 2.
Even winning jockey Alan Munro gave accolades to the Singaporean trainer for planning and picking his races well for his horses.
He also labelled the winner as a good stayer in the making.
"Yeah, he's an up-and-coming horse. You know, Yusof has picked up his distance and he knows his horses, so he has put him over the right trip. He's a good stayer in the making," said the Epsom Derby-winning Englishman.
Irish-bred Justice Fair, owned by Lucky Stable, had arrived with a win over 2,000m from four starts in France, but Yusof gave his new charge ample time to acclimatise and then planted solid foundation by gradually stepping up in distance.
Although he landed on Aug 19 last year, Yusof did not enter Justice Fair for his first race until March 19 this year.
When he did, it was a sprint race - Polytrack 1,100m - for the four-year-old's debut and then stepped up the distances to 1,400m, 1,600m and 2,000m.
It was after two sprint runs that Justice Fair started to get into rhythm, finishing fourth over 1,400m at his third start.
Justice Fair then ran second over 1,600m and third over 2,000m before last night's race.
With the strong foundation laid, punters' confidence grew, so it was only logical that they jumped on the bandwagon when Justice Fair overtook early favourite Chairman in the last few minutes. He started at $18 for a win and Chairman at $20.
Munro got Justice Fair to a splendid start but Oliver spiralled to the front, leading by a length from Chairman.
Another length away came Gannet, Pusaka and Precious Gem in a pack. Justice Fair was in another pack behind with Higher Soul and O'Reilly Bay.
The order was about the same until the top of the long straight, where jockey Barend Vorster nudged Chairman to eyeball the tiring Oliver and then sprinted ahead at the 300m mark.
Trainer Stephen Gray's Pusaka and Precious Gem didn't pose any threats.
Munro felt it was time to go after the leader. For a moment, it looked like his effort was a trifle late. Chairman was still over a length ahead with 100m left to run, but Munro balanced up Justice Fair and drove his mount past Chairman within the shadows of the winning post to win by a neck.
It was only Justice Fair's sixth start at Kranji and, with age on his side, his connections should have more fun with their stayer with potential.