Well done, Jason Lim
$46 outsider West North Hill gives newly licensed trainer his first winner
After several near-misses, the day to remember finally came for newly licensed trainer Jason Lim on Friday night.
In the 37-year-old Singaporean's own words, the monkey was finally off his back after $46 outsider West North Hill gave him his first career winner.
It was his 19th runner since he made his training debut on May 10. Before that, he was deputy to trainer David Hill.
West North Hill was not quick at the jump but was hunted to the front from his inner-most barrier in the Class 5 Div 2 race over 1,200m by jockey TH Koh.
There was a keen go for the lead and Koh had the five-year-old English-bred ahead by a neat length of Mont Choisy and My Genesis at the 1,000m mark.
Mont Choisy got up to about a neck turning for home but that was as near as he could get. West North Hill kicked again when asked by Koh to be well clear and lasted by 11/2 lengths from the fast-finishing Auspicious Ace.
Incidentally, it was also the horse's first win from 17 starts.
"At last, I got the monkey off my back," said Lim. "Yeah, should have got a winner in the first race. But, this one, I don't mind taking it, you know.
"This horse has got issues. He hasn't raced for 10 months. We did a surgery on him, removed a knee chip and there you are.
"The stable is not doing badly, you know. We've had a few misses. This is racing, so I am happy about how things are going now."
Lim's Race 1 runner on Friday, Redoubt, went desperately close - beaten by a mere short head in a three-way finish in the Class 5 Div 1 event over 1,200m.
The race was won by One World, trainer David Kok's only runner over the last two race days and his fourth winner of the season.
Finishing just a nose behind Redoubt was Obstacle Free.
Like West North Hill, it was One World's maiden win from 16 starts.
Surprisingly, the five-year-old was hammered late in the betting and went off as the $12 favourite. The smart money prevailed again.
The addition of blinkers and a new set of instructions - to endeavour to be ridden closer with blinkers - obviously did the trick for the Australian-bred gelding, who led all the way after jumping from gate 8.
The change of name also probably played a part in One World's welcome change of luck. It was only the second time he raced under this name. Previously, he was called Dynamic General.
Kok had the horse the first three starts for a debut second, then the horse was transferred to John O'Hara. After nine outings for a third, the horse returned to Kok's stables.