Khoo sees more success with 'Elite' horses
Elite Warrior is the first by trainer for Elite Performance Stable
Shortly after Daniel Meagher saddled a first winner for a big owner when taking out yesterday's Race 1 with Walking Thunder, it was Leslie Khoo's turn to also enjoy a similar experience in the very next race.
For a while now, Khoo has been looking after a bunch of horses from relative newcomer Elite Performance Stable, but had nothing to show for the partnership - until ELITE WARRIOR came along in the $65,000 Initiation race over 1,200m.
Originally prepared by Meagher, the son of Reward For Effort had just the one run for Khoo two weeks ago, flashing home late to run third to Snip in a Polytrack 1,100m race for maidens.
There was room to be positive yesterday, even if the outermost alley (12) and the presence of Bruce Marsh's debutant Macavity (Alan Munro) made for some serious challenges.
But Elite Warrior ($22) made light of all these perceived setbacks by producing a sterling performance that certainly spoke volumes about his ability.
He did travel three wide for most of the way, but somehow, effortlessly slid up into a striking position at the top of the straight to put the race away with consummate ease, leaving the next horse over the line, I'm On Fire (Barend Vorster), four lengths adrift.
Newcomer Saint Lincoln (John Powell) did well to finish third, two-and-three-quarter lengths away.
"At his first run for me, the 1,100m was a bit short. The 1,200m suited him better," said Khoo. "Even though he was drawn wide, he was able to run up with the pace, and in the straight, he gave a nice kick. The way he finished off tells me he can go up to 1,400m and a mile. No problem."
Regarded as a local legend when he was a jockey, Khoo has been a force to reckon with in the local training ranks since he hung up his boots, although success at the elite level has eluded him thus far. Maybe one of the Elite horses could change this state of affairs, but Khoo was not getting too carried away.
"It's great to have my first winner for the Elite Performance Stable," he said.
"I've got around 12 horses for them. It's hard to tell how far they will go, I can only hope we continue to enjoy a lot of success."