Malaysians will get to see Eatons Gold
Old campaigner to move up north
While waiting for the next Malaysia-bound float, trainer Mark Walker has kept EATONS GOLD on his racing tucker, and the honest galloper duly won in a pre-Kranji farewell of sorts on Sunday.
The 2015 Singapore champion trainer revealed he had already booked the Jet Spur eight-year-old's shipment across the Causeway towards Penang trainer, fellow Kiwi Sharee Hamilton, but he had in the meantime kept him ticking over at home, and what better way to do that than toss him in a race.
Eatons Gold had actually been showing a bit of form at his last runs, mixing it competitively with the likes of Cavallo and Grand Cross.
A drop back in his own grade did the trick as Eatons Gold proved too strong when he was set alight by jockey Shafiq Rizuan at the 300m in the $60,000 Open Benchmark 67 race over 1,000m on the Polytrack.
The $17 favourite powered away to an emphatic win, beating Mighty Conqueror (Azhar Ismail) for a Walker 1-2 with Dragon Kingdom (Derreck David) running on late for third.
Walker and his assistant-trainer Gus Clutterbuck were naturally delighted with the quinella.
They had a third runner in former Malaysian three-time winner Ivanhoe making his Kranji debut, and he can only improve on the back of his seventh place.
But despite being caught in the euphoria, Walker was not having second thoughts about putting Eatons Gold on the next available transport.
No doubt, the useful galloper was bringing up his ninth win for the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable and more than $510,000 in stakes earnings, but Walker said any future endeavours would have to come under different skies.
"He was booked to go to Malaysia, but we thought we'd give him a few runs before that," said the Kiwi handler.
"He may be an eight-year-old, but he's a happy old horse. The key is to keep them content, keep them happy.
"But he will be going up to Malaysia to Sharee Hamilton. You can't keep squeezing these old horses and there are no more races for him here.
"He's been a good moneyspinner for us and John Galvin, and it's time for him to try something else in Malaysia."
Eatons Gold has now taken his record to nine wins and 17 placings from 68 starts for stakes earnings that have now tipped over the half-a-million mark.