Kiwi Kid makes history
Jason Ong-trained 5YO the first horse from Uruguay to win in Singapore
When $578 outsider Kiwi Kid led all the way in Race 5 on Saturday, he became the first horse from Uruguay to win in Singapore.
The five-year-old's owner, Nova Racing Stable, best known for its signature Polytrack speedster and six-time winner Nova Swiss, races some horses there, hence the arrival of Kiwi Kid to our shores last year.
Winning trainer Jason Ong has never heard of Uruguayan racing. But, when the local outfit, which has Limited Edition with him, offered Kiwi Kid, the chance to train such an "exotic" horse was too hard to resist.
"Nova Racing is already established with a few horses in Uruguay. The owners have a bloodstock agent there as well," said the second-year Singaporean trainer.
"One day, they told me they have a one-time Uruguay winner they thought would be good for Singapore and asked me if I would like to train him.
"The answer was yes right away. All I know is he is a sprinter and won one race over 1,000m. I think, on the all-weather there, but I thought it would be interesting to train a horse from that country."
Nova Racing has supported Ong from Day 1 and he was glad he got a win out of Kiwi Kid for the stable.
"I really wanted this horse to win a race for them. He didn't show much at his first four starts.
"After his last run in the last week of July, I spoke to the connections and decided to give him a short spell.
"After his long trip from Uruguay, he was a real hothead and took some time to settle down. He was lacking in race experience.
"He's come on after the spell. I put blinkers on at his trial and he went really well with them.
"Still, today, with I Am Sacred in the race, it was very hard to be confident of his chances. But he came out really well, and Joseph See rode a very patient race on him."
Kiwi Kid, following his bland runs, was ignored in the market. He was the second least-backed runner. But his Singaporean jockey rode him like he was the best horse in the race.
Positive from barrier rise, the "Uniquely Uruguayan" went from go to whoa, taking the $50,000 Class 4 Div 1 race over the Poly 1,100m by half a length.
Interesting to note, the runner-up Winning Legend was the rank outsider at $696.
The forecast paid a thumping $2,399 for a $2 bet.