Hot favourite Dr Kardo kept his backers happy even if he had to do it the hard way with a gutsy maiden win in the $20,000 Open Maiden race over 1100m at Kranji on Saturday.
Sent out at prohibitive odds of $6, the Not A Single Doubt four-year-old was straight on the chewy from barrier rise, but had to contend with a vastly-improved second-up competitor in Lim’s Denali (Danny Beasley) on his inside for most of the way.
Tracking up one off the fence to the point of the turn, Dr Kardo looked the goods when he was given full bore to collar Lim’s Stable’s filly, but the latter turned out to be a surprisingly formidable foe, only throwing in the towel in the shadows of the post.
Dr Kardo (Vlad Duric) fights back on Lim's Denali (Danny Beasley) to claim his first win in Race 2, picture Singapore Turf Club
Dr Kardo went on to assert his superiority to land the spoils by one length with third place avidly contested between Alexander (Matthew Kellady) and Good Fight (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) just under three lengths away. The nod went to the former by a short head.
Racing in the pink and white Barree Stable colours made famous by the likes of Debt Collector and Inferno, Dr Kardo clocked 1min 5.25secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
Winning trainer James Peters said he was a little bit concerned about the quick back-up – 14 days since his debut second to Wawasan in a similar Open Maiden race over 1000m – but Dr Kardo acquitted himself brilliantly considering the trip didn’t really suit.
“It’s not easy for a horse who had such a long time away (since his Australian racing days which finished up back in May 2019) to be on the quick back-up,” said Peters.
“We always worry about the second-up syndrome, it was a workmanlike win, no doubt, but he got the job done. He wants to go over more ground.
“Today as he drew well, I didn’t want to complicate things and told Vlad to ride him positive.”
The four-time Singapore champion jockey agreed with Peters that Dr Kardo’s true colours will come through once he is stepped up over more distance.
“He’s a well-balanced horse, but he was not over his pet distance today,” he said.
“At the top of the straight, I had to ride him along just to keep him interested. He was skipping through his strides and changing his legs in the last two furlongs.
“His mechanics are seven furlongs to a mile, he’s looking for more ground.”
Previously under the care of Cliff Brown, Dr Kardo was transferred to Peters when the former Kranji-based Australian trainer returned to Victoria in March. A stakes earner of A$8,125 from a third place in a 1150m race at Randwick Kensington when prepared by Chris Waller, Dr Kardo has made almost twice that amount in two starts from his maiden Kranji win and previous second place - around $14,000.
The Barree Stable were hoping for back-to-back wins with their Group 3 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe winner Boomba (Duric) in the next event, the $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race over 1200m, but the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained Showcasing three-year-old had to settle for second place to the Mark Walker-trained Just Landed (A’Isisuhairi Kasim, $36).