Big Brother braves it out in Fortune Bowl
Sunday's Kranji round-up
Don't mock proverbs. Like "fortune favours the brave". Just ask the happy crowd at the Kranji racecourse on Sunday, hoping that the Lunar New Year would toss some "fortune" their way.
Patiently they waited for the ninth race, the Fortune Bowl. Although just eight runners went for the $200,000 "pot", the belief was that a winning bet on the CNY feature would spell success in the months to come.
So, they searched hard for the best horse in the field and settled for trainer Ricardo Le Grange's BIG BROTHER. They sent him off as second pick, behind the favourite Nova Strike, and he didn't let them down. Tucked behind stablemate Time Odyssey for most of the trip, he made his move halfway down the stretch.
By then, there were just three horses in with a shout. Time Odyssey who led, Big Brother who waited and Nova Strike who tried to make a go of it.
For a moment it looked like Time Odyssey would prevail. But we didn't count on Big Brother's brave heart.
With jockey Nooresh Juglall riding hell for leather and squeezing every ounce, Big Brother got the verdict by a mere neck.
Earlier on, the aptly-named MR CROWE won the first race of the Year Of The Rooster.
For those who saw the "significance" and latched on to the fact that roosters do "crow", they collected a pretty hongbao as the Laurie Laxon-trained runner paid $35 on the win tote.
Ridden a perfectly-judged race by bang-in-form jockey Vlad Duric, Mr Crowe charged home to win going away by one and a quarter lengths.
For the Oscar Racing Stable who owned the gelding, the victory gave them crowing rights and a great start to the Lunar New Year. They would go on to collect a double when MR CLOONEY won Race 8.
But most impressive winner of the day was AUTUMN RUSH who took out Race 4. A beaten favourite last-time out, he redeemed himself many times over when he blitzed his opponents to win the 1,100m race by seven lengths.
Such was the ease of his victory that, at the 100m mark when his jockey Glen Boss stole a look behind, all he saw was panic and anguish on the faces of the chasing pack.
Like Big Brother's win in the Fortune Bowl, sheer class won the day.