It was like the good ol' days for new trainer, Saimee
Former Singapore champion jockey gets a quick double
For local racing legend, Saimee Jumaat, last night at Kranji must have brought back fond memories of those "good ol' days".
The former champion jockey turned trainer used to savour the cheers from racegoers when booting home winner after winner during those "Bukit Timah days" and later at Kranji.
Yesterday, and as a full-fledged trainer for just over a month, Saimee got to experience the adulation of the crowd once again when he saddled the winners of the first two races.
HEE'S FORTE took the opener while DANZEB won the very next race.
So it was, at the photo-taking session in front of many of his old kakis, Saimee was in his element, grinning broadly as the cameras clicked and the fans applauded.
However, there would have been plenty of peeved punters after the first race when Saimee's charge, Hee's Forte, upset the applecart.
Sent off as the $151 outsider and never given much of a chance against the likes of hot favourites Trigger Man (Vlad Duric) and D'Don (I Saifudin), Hee's Forte made light of the horrid gate which he had drawn - 14 - to be among the leaders at the 600m marker.
The Class 5 runner hit the front at the 200m and, ridden with the whip, he held off jockey S John on Flying Shadow to score his fourth career win.
For his rider, apprentice S Shafrizal, it was also a day for celebration. Hee's Forte had given him his second winner from 113 rides.
If punters lost big on the opener, they quickly made up for it when Danzeb swept to victory in Race 2.
Sent off as the third pick at $25 in that "Maiden" over the 1,200m, he jumped well and, after travelling 400m, he always looked like the horse you wanted to be on.
Ridden by Oscar Chavez, who seems to have first pick when it comes to rides on horses owned by the Al-Arabiya Stable, Danzeb jumped from Gate 1 and never left the rails.
Always in contact with the leaders, he hit the front 300m out and it was all over.
In Races 3 and 4, the winners were horses headlined in The New Paper's racing section on Wednesday and Thursday. HIGHER SOUL won Race 3, while GOLD FAITH took the next. They paid $64 and $31 respectively.