First season a success for Walker
18 Dec 2011 | New Zealand conditioner Mark Walker completed a successful first season in Singapore when he captured the $75,000 Kranji Stakes C over 1100m on the Polytrack on Sunday.
Finderskeepers provided Walker with win number 48 for the season at a strike-rate nearing 10%.
Ridden by the season’s leading apprentice Shafiq Rusof, Finderskeepers inflicted the first defeat on the odds-on favourite Al’s Knight (John Powell) in scoring by a length-and-three-quarters.
Fast Break (Saimee Jumaat) which had shared the lead with Al’s Knight, finished third, a neck further back.
Walker said he had enjoyed a successful first full season in Singapore after originally arriving in September 2010.
“This first season has been good and it is something we can build upon,” said Walker.
“We have learnt a lot during the year and we can look forward to next season with some confidence.”
Walker said he elected to give no firm instructions to Shafiq after he drew out wide.
“There was so much speed drawn inside of us that I just left it all up to Shafiq,” said Walker.
“It was a ride you would expect from him at this stage of his career.
“I was happy for him to ride him back and they did run along early. He got him to the outside and he came home with a really strong run.
“In the end he has won really well.”
Walker said he has no specific plans with Finderskeepers, describing the gelding as a day-to-day proposition.
“He chipped a bone in a fetlock not too long after he got here and needed some time on the sidelines,” said Walker.
“He does a lot of his work on the uphill track. It takes a lot of pressure of his legs.
“There are some great tracks to work on here and without the uphill track and horse like Finderskeepers would quite possibly fall by the wayside.”
Finderskeepers was having his sixth start in Singapore on Sunday, recording his second victory, after winning three of his seven starts in New Zealand.
A five-year-old New Zealand-bred, Finderskeepers is by Keepers from the Rory’s Jester mare Join The Fun and following his victory took his prizemoney to around $95,000 for the Finderskeepers Stable.