Makkem Lad is all heart
Logan-trained ace beats a strong lot for eighth win
He may be small, weighing around 450kg, but Makkem Lad certainly possesses a big heart.
The pride of trainer Donna Logan, the six-year-old again delivered on Saturday, despite meeting a strong lot in the $100,000 Kranji Stakes A event over 1,200m on turf.
It was the Eden Park Stud Racing Stable-owned Australian-bred gelding's eighth success from 23 starts, taking his earnings to about $470,000 .
A horse like this richly deserves to be hunting for gold. Unfortunately, there are no sprint features left in the season, except for the $110,000 Group 3 Merlion Trophy over the Polytrack 1,200m on Nov 27.
But Makkem Lad is not as good on the alternate surface. Although his first three wins were on it, they were in lower classes.
"Makkem Lad is not a great Polytrack horse," said Logan.
"But the Merlion Trophy is the only sprint feature left, so we'll have to give it some thought."
Although Makkem Lad won most of his races from the front, there was Fame Star, who could be quicker after the jump.
The 2019 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy winner did surge to the front, with last year's winner Nepean eyeballing him.
Apprentice jockey Yusoff Fadzli hunted Makkem Lad in between the pair, after breaking from the second-widest barrier. They soon cruised ahead from the midway stage and stole a nice breakaway in the straight.
It was a winning strategy. Makkem Lad lasted it out by 3/4 lengths from the fast-finishing last-start winner Gold Star. He clocked 1min 09.08sec.
Third in the betting, he paid $37 for the win.
The two favourites - Kharisma ($16) and Grand Koonta ($12) - finished fifth and seventh respectively in the field of 12.
"I was really confident with him on his work leading into the race. But, when the draws came out, we took a deep breath," said Logan.
"He also had to hold off the backmarkers like Grand Koonta. Still, I told Yusoff, if he was in front, to skip at the home turn because it would take a very good horse to peg him back.
"I didn't think Fame Star would lead us into the race. But Yusoff told me Makkem Lad travelled so easy that he decided to stay where he was.
"He has the biggest heart - and he's done it again."