Just last week, trainer Desmond Koh was seeing the back of all his 25 fellow Kranji trainers on the Singapore trainer’s premiership, burdened with the unenviable status of being the only one not to have saddled a winner in the new season.
If someone had then told him he would leapfrog over 19 of them to sit inside the Top 10 in three meetings, he would have probably told that person Christmas was long over.
Splitsville (Ivaldo Santana) brings up the second leg of trainer Desmond Koh's
four-timer. Picture Singapore Turf Club.
But in one fell swoop, the Singaporean conditioner not only handed the wooden spoon to someone else (Mohd Yusof), but has shot right through the log to suddenly sit smack in the upper-tier thanks to a double and a terrific four-timer – the former a week ago on February 3 and the latter on Friday night.
Marathon Lad was the one who snapped the long run of outs before Shopping List followed suit one race later to give Koh a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Stoked by that ice-breaker, Koh continued on his momentum with an even more prolific haul on Friday – four winners ridden by four different jockeys – My Field ($54) - Soo Khoon Beng, Splitsville ($69) - Ivaldo Santana, Ace Armando ($19) -Tengku Rehaizat and Takeshi ($28) - Oscar Chavez.
The first two wins were carved in identical register – storm home from the rear to score by similar margins - 1 ¼ lengths.
It was however a lot tighter for Ace Armando who hit the lead at the 200m but had to fend off stinging challenges from both on the inside (Chive Bloom) and the outside (Ravoux) to scrape home by a nose from Chive Bloom with Ravoux third another short head away.
Takeshi on his part finally shed his maiden status at his 22nd start with a sustained burst inside the last 300m to claim Race 6.
Though the quartet of wins came about in moderate Class 4 and Class 5 races, Koh was not one to get too picky. He now sits seventh on the ladder on six wins on a countback for seconds, and summed up his sudden surge of form the best.
“When it rains, it pours,” he said. “It’s been a long and frustrating wait, but the winners have suddenly been coming in one after another since the ball got rolling last Friday.
“I can’t remember when I last had a four-timer, but I know I did. So tonight is not my first, but boy is it a nice feeling.
“I don’t have a team of world-beaters but they are bread-and-butter sorts who do the job when they are in the right races. I’ll take those wins in Class 4 and 5 anytime just to get the stable going.
“I was pretty unlucky before with many seconds, but that is the beauty of the game, isn’t it?
“I won’t say I was expecting a good night tonight, but they were all pretty much in the market, and I am very happy for myself and the owners.
“It’s been a very good day at the office but I know all about the bad days - and I’m sure there will be bad days again