Exciting sprinter Emerald Hill stretched his unbeaten run to four wins with yet another impressive galloping display on Friday night.
Untried beyond 1100m at his previous three wins, the US-bred four-year-old by Sharp Humor took the hefty impost of 59.5kg and the step-up to 1200m of the $75,000 Kranji Stakes C-2 race all in his stride with a comprehensive two-length win over Davide (Zawari Razali) with Rush (Stephen Baster) running on late for third another 2 ½ lengths away.
The winning time was 1min 11.52secs.
Emerald Hill (Saifudin Ismail) makes it four on the trot on Friday night.
Backed down to solid $8 favouritism, the highly-strung Emerald Hill was as usual a bundle of nerves before the start, bathing in a lather of sweat while milling around behind the gates, but was the complete professional once he was sent on his way.
Jumping on terms with the 10 other runners, the John O’Hara-trained gelding used his early toe to easily slot into the fence while the equally speedy Super Jetset (Ivaldo Santana) momentarily took the lead as he speared over from his outside gate.
Without being bustled up by regular partner Saifudin Ismail, Emerald Hill eventually landed in front as Super Jetset dropped off a notch while Davide continued to surge forth to take up second spot on his outside.
Regular partner Saifudin Ismail had Emerald Hill well kept together until the 300m mark when Davide loomed up threateningly on his outside. But the Malaysian jockey still had a lapful under him, and once he pulled the whip, the race was all over in the blink of an eye.
The flashy chestnut responded with a strong burst inside the last 200m to dash clear for a fourth win that is however still not getting O’Hara pencilling grandiose plans for his precious charge.
“It was by far his toughest test tonight. The weight was a big concern, but he won well in the end,” said the Singaporean handler who wasat a training double having earlier saddled $65 outsider Theology (Santana) to victory in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden-1 (2 & 3YO) race over 1200m six races earlier.
“Saifudin only pulled the stick a few times in the home straight. I think he should be able to get further, probably 1400m at some stage.
“I don’t have any ambitious plans for him at the moment. Just take him through his grades and try and keep his unbeaten record intact.”
Saifudin said the Saratoga Stable-owned galloper has proven on Friday night he could shoulder big weights and had finally turned into a more seasoned racehorse.
“What I really liked about him was how he was so much more relaxed tonight,” he said.
“When Super Jetset came on his outside at the start, I thought he would be really keen, but he just took a sit and settled really well.
“In the straight, I knew he would be hard to beat as I still had plenty of horse under me. He’s really improved a lot.”
That fourth success has now brought Emerald Hill's earnings past the $130,000 mark, a more than handy return on his US$23,000 price tag as a two-year-old.