“From the smart time he ran, he’s obviously a very nice horse but I will take it easy with him – just go through his grades little by little.”
Winning Man (NZ) (Patapan) showed he was on his way to being a force to reckon with when recording a second win at his second start, this one with even more swagger than the first, at Singapore’s Kranji racecourse on Friday night.
An impressive winner in an Initiation over 1200 metres after overcoming a wide alley three weeks ago, the four year old again drew off the track in the S$60,000 Class 4 over 1100 metres on Polytrack but again made light of that setback with a thumping four-length annihilation of his rivals. The winning time was a sizzling 1:04.96, only 0.59 seconds outside the course record held by Easy Man (NZ) (Ishiguru), also prepared by Winning Man’s trainer Leslie Khoo.
While the exciting sprinting prospect Easy Man, a five-time winner from just nine starts, had his racing career curtailed by bad legs, Khoo could sense the same wow factor in Winning Man but is loath to get too excited this early.
“I was expecting a good run tonight, but he won even more easily than I thought,” said the former top jockey. “I told Shafiq not to fight for the lead if someone else wanted to go forward. I also told him to wait for a while in the home straight as such new horses can get lost when they’re in front too early. Shafiq said he was never out of his comfort zone with Winning Man even if he had to think on his feet during the early scramble for the lead as the field sorted itself out.
“I wasn’t sure if I would lead or take a sit, but with six horses all rushing forward and trying to lead, I thought I’d come back,” he said. “When my horse also rolled forward I decided to stay in that spot as I knew he was very fit. He was never off the bit. When he came into the straight, he tried to run off and I had to get him back on track. Once a horse came up to him, he was switched on and he then just quickened away.”
Apprentice Shafiq Rizuan was in rampant form on Friday night and he racked up a treble with Rockfast (Fastnet Rock), a top-line three-year-old in New Zealand last season, in the closing event, the S$60,000 Class 4 over 1400 metres.
– Singapore Turf Club
Winning Man as a foal with his dam Si Signorina (Senor Pete) born, raised and sold by Brighthill Farm