Racing

Sunday double will spur him on

Trainer KS Tan saddles Fire Away and Spur Me On in quick succession

Pardon the pun, but trainer Tan Kah Soon would have been spurred on when he saddled a quick double on Sunday.

It was his first double of the year and it was Spur Me On who completed the act, right after Fire Away - having just his seventh start - had called all the shots when taking Race 2.

Interestingly, the same two horses were Tan's last two winners - Fire Away scored on March 15, while Spur Me On won on April 21.

Tan has now saddled six winners for the year.

As is his style, the Penang-born handler again chose to pass the praise on to the men behind the scene.

In the case of Spur Me On's success in the $30,000 race for Class 5 horses over the Polytrack 1,700m, Tan was quick to point out the work out by apprentice Abdul Syahir in helping get the horse ripe and ready for his assignment.

He said: "Syahir does a lot of work on this horse. He rides him every day and all the credit should go to him."

Incidentally, it was apprentice I Amirul who did the steering on raceday. The Malaysian hoop was also on the reins when Spur Me On won on April 21.

Tan also acknowledged that Amirul rode a good race.

Bouncing him out from his awkward alley (11), the son of Ipoh trainer Ismadi Ismail did the right thing by allowing his mount to amble along freely and on his own steam.

With just Scooter (N Hanafi) ahead of him, and confident of the horse he had beneath him, Amirul waited for the right time to move.

It came at the 500m mark, when Scooter started to shorten strides. Spur Me On, the $47 chance, easily strode past with Amirul still sitting rather motionless.

With other challengers coming at him at the 300m mark, Amirul went for broke and Spur Me On lived up to his name and responded with a surging run.

Tiger Force (Daniel Moor) ran on gamely but had to be content with second place, while Southern Glory took third.

"From the first time I jumped on him, I could tell that the trainer had him in good shape," said Amirul. "I think he can go to the next level and still be competitive and win races."

Spur Me On has now taken his record to eight wins (first four when trained by Michael Clements) and five placings from 57 starts for prize money of more than $180,000 for the Spur Me On Stable.

As for Fire Away, the grey looks like he's got a future at Kranji.

The win on Sunday was his third from just seven starts and he's certainly going places.

Owned by Titanium Racing Stable, Fire Away didn't come cheap. Costing over $200,000 at the sales, the son of Charge Forward won on debut last September, beating Gamely by 3/4 lengths in Restricted Maiden.

He took a four-month break from November and returned in triumph in March, winning a Class 4 event over the Poly 1,100m by 2 1/2 lengths.

Sunday's win was his "gutsiest" yet and he should be a force to be reckoned with in races to come.

HORSE RACING