Racing

Smooth sailing for Lerner on Wind Trail

Frenchman also teams up with trainer Takaoka for another win with Bebop

Although he scored on Star Jack last start on March 6, jockey Marc Lerner jumped off to ride his Hideyuki Takaoka-trained stablemate Wind Trail in the same race at Kranji on Saturday.

That underlined Wind Trail's chances and the Frenchman was proven right.

The combination went on to land the $70,000 Kranji Stakes C event over 1,800m on turf easily, beating $102 outsider Dancing Rain (Troy See) by 11/4 lengths in 1min 49.39sec.

Third was the $15 favourite On Line (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin). Star Jack finished fourth with jockey Wong Chin Chuen astride.

Wind Trail has been one of Lerner's favourite. He has now partnered the six-year-old Japanese-bred in all his four victories.

"I really like this horse. I won three races on him two years ago," he said.

"At the beginning of last year, he had no form. He has taken some time to find his form back.

"His last few runs have been encouraging. He was knocking on the door. Today, he had the conditions favouring him and he won a nice race."

The son of Screen Hero has gone without a win since May 2019, when he scored the last of his three wins. But he showed a return to form with two creditable thirds in his last two starts in Class 4.

Riding a patient race, Lerner brought Wind Trail to use his superior turn of foot when the gaps presented at the top of the straight.

His mount kicked away to a two-length lead before being eased down close to the line for an easy victory from the fast-finishing Dancing Rain.

He paid $29 for a $5 outlay.

He has won more than $155,000 in stakes for Japanese outfit, Galahad Racing Stable.

Takaoka praised Lerner for his wonderful ride.

"Marc rode Wind Trail very well. He knows the horse well," said the Japanese mentor.

"You saw how he started to look around and stop when he hit the front. He even started to hang out.

"Another 50m, he would have lost the race. He's a horse who cannot go to the front too soon, but at the same time, if you leave it too late, he may not have the same burst."

Wind Trail was the second leg of a double for the Takaoka-Lerner combination. They had won with $24 chance Bebop in the $30,000 Class 5 event over the Polytrack 1,700m three races earlier.

"Mr Takaoka's horses are starting to find their form back - like Be Bop earlier. It's always a pleasure to ride a winner for the team," said Lerner.

With the double, he has shot to the top of the Singapore jockeys' table with 11 winners.

He is one winner ahead of Beuzelin, who hit one back with Prosperous Return ($24) in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1,400m.

Lerner, however, is seven winners behind apprentice jockey Hakim Kamaruddin, who has ridden 18 winners this season.

HORSE RACING