Duric pops the 'Champagne' at 13th start
All the highlights from last night's races at Kranji
It was lucky 13 for the connections of CHAMPAGNE REIN who took the second race at Kranji last night.
He, who arrived with a reputation of sorts - having won races "back home" in Australia and New Zealand - took a while to get his first Kranji win on the board. But he did it last night - at his 13th Singapore start.
Ridden a copybook race by Vlad Duric, Champagne Rein cleared the chute at the 1,000m cleanly but he was snagged back to fourth as Bellus Wonder led them on a merry chase.
But the writing was on the wall. Positioned nicely on the outside and clearly on "attack mode", it was only a matter of time before he revved up.
That he did, 250m out and it was all over. Duric would later say his horse "had a nice kick" and we saw it carry him to win from the fast-finishing Grey Falcon.
Prepared for the races by leading trainer Mark Walker, Champagne Rein will go on to win more races.
Earlier, in the Class 5 opening race, racegoers wore wide grins when rewarded for following the "smart money".
A late plunge on MASTERMIND saw him replace Top Note as favourite and he duly obliged, leading from pillar to post.
Indeed, such was his dominance that, if his jockey Benny Woodworth had stolen a look behind when they were midway down the straight, he would have seen panic written on the faces of his fellow jockeys.
Seven-year-old Mastermind, who showed the spirit of a frisky juvenile, would go on to win by a length and half - easing up. And he would clock a smart time of 58.79sec for the 1,000m.
Woodworth, who has this look of enduring humility and that suggestion of nonchalance about him, would go on to win Race 3.
WHY NOT was the name of his mount and, like it was with Mastermind, he again did it with a front-running exhibition. If his aim was to dominate, he did it to an amazing extent. His mount would pay a generous $20 for the win.
Poor Dedoubt. Send off a favourite, he would again have to settle for second spot - his third such placing in four starts.
It is never easy making every post a winning one in a race which is over the testing 2,000m. But that was exactly what DANCE IN THE WIND did when stealing Race 4 from under the noses of the top two fancies, Magstock and Keep Spinning.
Jumping from eight in that nine-horse field, Derreck David put his mount in front before they reached the winning post for the first time.
Unknown to the rest, the "dance" had just begun and she did toss rings around the rest when leading by three lengths at the 1,400m mark and by two when they straightened.
Magstock and Michael Rodd tried to cut in as did Duric on Keep Spinning. But David would have nothing of it and Dance In The Wind, still rocking to the beat, would go on to win by a length and a half.
As expected, David was elated with the show. "She's improving all the time," he said. "And the owners have got a lovely filly on their hands."