Ong savours second double
Singaporean trainer takes his season's tally to 10 with wins from Loving Babe and The Wild Bunch
For the second time in two months, "small-time" trainer Jason Ong gets the satisfaction of saddling a double at Kranji on Saturday.
The 33-year-old Singaporean was successful with $13 favourite Loving Babe in Race 5 and $204 outsider The Wild Bunch in Race 10.
For a fleeting moment in the last of 12 events, he looked poised for his second career treble. But his two runners, Special Ops and Bruce Alnaughty, finished second and third respectively behind Relentless, who provided trainer Tim Fitzsimmons and jockeyVlad Duric the third leg of their treble (see story on Page 13).
Overall, Ong, who saddled his first double of the year with All We Know and Bruce Alnaughty on April 4, had a good day. From 10 runners in six races, he had two wins, a second and three thirds.
His double has shot him a few rungs up in the trainers' premiership to be in joint-seventh with Ricardo Le Grange and Shane Baertschiger with 10 winners.
Reigning champion trainer Michel Clements, who took Race 6 with all-the-way winner Ablest Ascend, leads the Kranji pack with 37 winners.
Ong, a third-season trainer, was thankful for the storm, which delayed Race 4 onwards by 15 minutes, and a top ride by jockey Danny Beasley, who took over from regular rider Zyrul Nor Azman, on Loving Babe in the $30,000 Class 5 Div 2 event over the Polytrack 1,200m.
After settling fourth early, Beasley swooped up turning for home and went on to win easily by 23/4 lengths.
"The rain helped. It suited him and I couldn't fault Zyrul, because I put on on Our Showcase... he knows the horse very well," said Ong.
"Beasley trialled and galloped the horse. He gave me good feedback that this is his race to win. He knows the horse well and, with his experience, I didn't have to give him a lot of instructions. He just went out, did his own thing and won easy."
Although he started at the monstrous quote of $204, Ong was not surprised with The Wild Bunch's victory in a competitive $50,000 Class 4 Div 1 race over 1,400m.
Ridden by jockey Koh Teck Huat, his charge overcame barrier 11 to lead and then staved off the fast-finising last-start winner just Landed by a nose.
"With winkers, we thought he would be hard to beat if he could get a run on the rails and lead. TH Koh knows the horse very well and everything worked out perfectly," said Ong, adding that he is happy "the stable is going well".
"I have Danny Beasley and Joseph See helping out a lot in trackwork, as well as my apprentice Zyrul. We are a small stable, with 30-odd horses, so we have to place them correctly to get the best out of them.
"Things are looking quite bright and I am trying to get some new owners and, hopefully, get some good horses to train and keep the stable going."