A well-rated front-running ride by jockey Alan Ng in the $55,000 Class 4 race over 1000m on Polytrack paved the way to Shinkansen posting his seventh win on Friday night.
Ng, who rode the Falvelon seven-year-old four times before without winning, said he had been rather upbeat about the Sam Chua-trained gelding’s chances of stealing the race given his small handicap (50kg) and nice gate (barrier No 3). It certainly showed in the way he rode him positive from the get-go.
Shinkansen, whose last win on January 27 was scored from barrier to box, was quick out of the gates to dictate his terms at a steady tempo, with Zac Heaven (Ivaldo Santana) and Caiyaya (Joao Moreira) in close attendance, while favourite Rock Art (Mohd Suhaimi) was tucked away in the perfect trail in fourth on the fence.
Shinkansen (Alan Ng), with blue side winkers, fights off the challenges from Caiyaya (Joao Moreira), on the outside, and favourite Rock Art (Mohd Suhaimi) to prevail by a head on Friday night, picture Singapore Turf Club
Ng was however able to give his mount a breather despite having company for most of the way, and it was not surprising to see Shinkansen giving another kick upon straightening. But Rock Art looked like he would gobble him up when he dove through a saloon passage on the rails while Caiyaya was not done either as he launched a stinging attack on the outside,
But Shinkansen fought back and managed to scrape home by a head from Caiyaya with Rock Art faltering late to run third another neck away. The winning time was 59.44 seconds.
The fighting win drew praises from Ng, who was at his sixth Singapore success for the season but his first for Chua.
“I was quietly confident about his chances especially with the light handicap, but the only concern was he’s never won over 1000m before,” said Ng.
“But with his ratings having dropped to 44 points, I thought he was due for a win.”
Ng said he could not complain with his current score given the tough competition in the riding ranks at Kranji, but was also prepared to widen his horizon in his bid to improve his haul.
“Things have gone okay for me here and I’d like to thank trainers like David Kok, Sam Chua, Desmond Koh and Brian Dean for supporting me,” said the former Singapore champion apprentice jockey.
“But I want to try my luck elsewhere and that’s why I’ve applied for a permit to ride in Malaysia as well starting from this month.
“I’ll be travelling back and forth. Singapore will still be my main base but I don’t mind going up to Malaysia to test the waters there.“
Chua said Shinkansen was an “old campaigner” who does make his presence felt every now and then.
“It was a weak field and he’s been an honest old campaigner to us,” said Chua.
“I thought he was a goner at the top of the straight, but he just kept fighting back like a bulldog all the way to the line.”
Shinkansen has now brought his earnings past the $350,000 mark for the Results Stable, the owner of 2010 Singapore Gold Cup winner Risky Business.