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Nunes Makin hay while the sun shines

The Steven Burridge-trained Makin gave favourite backers a scare before knocking in a well-deserved win in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1400m at Kranji on Saturday.

That win also capped off a stellar day for Manoel Nunes in the saddle after the five-time Singapore champion booted home four winners, with $7 favourite June (see earlier report), Sheesh ($24) in the Class 5 Division 2 race over 1700m and Greatham Boy ($16) in the Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m as his three winners who strung up successive wins earlier.

Sent out the even-money favourite, Makin could have been a good thing beaten before jockey Manoel Nunes made the right moves late to ensure the Written Tycoon four-year-old turned three frustrating runs of seconds into a welcome victory.


Makin (Manoel Nunes) returns to winning ways in Race 10 on Saturday, picture Singapore Turf Club

On jumping, Nunes got the perfect sit one-back on the rails from his good gate two and settled behind the in-form Aniki, who led with intent for jockey Krisna Thangamani.

While In All His Glory (Zyrul Nor Azman) kept Aniki company on the pace, second favourite Ace Of Diamonds (Bruno Queiroz) was in a one-one spot and had Makin on his inside.

In a strung-out field, all eyes were on the first four in running. Ace Of Diamonds then made the first move by closing in outside of the battling In All His Glory at the 600m to pressure Aniki into the straight.

Meanwhile, Nunes had nowhere out with Aniki holding his position on the rails. Connections had their hearts in their mouths with Ace Of Diamonds off and running for the prize at the 300m and Makin had to be pulled dramatically off heels to have one last crack.

The loss of momentum looked costly as Makin still had over a length to make up in the last 100m, but the experienced Nunes did not panic and pushed his mount to the wire to make up necessary ground late to win by a neck on the line.

Ace Of Diamonds lost no friends in defeat while Aniki ran another one-and-a-quarter length back in third. Smart Star (Rozlan Nazam) made up good ground late to finish another one-and-a-half lengths back in fourth.

The winning time was 1 min 21.12secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.

The day was all about Nunes who, with an all-too-regular four-timer, jumped back to the top of this year’s jockeys’ log with his 17th win for the season.

“It was a good day,” said the Brazilian ace.

“I had some nice rides, so I was looking forward to today’s meeting, but it was always nice to go home with a few winners.

“Makin was the most impressive though, and I think he is still improving.

“It was a very tactical race early as I took Bruno’s spot on the rails but then he made his move at the right time to keep me fenced in.

“But while I was looking for a run on the inside, I wasn’t worried as I took the outside run early enough to give my horse every chance.

“In saying that, Ace Of Diamonds is a good horse and got a gap on us, so for Makin to run him down, that was a very good effort.

“I think the ground we saved early paid dividends late and the time was very good too. I’m very happy with how things went.”

Going forward, Nunes thought Makin can win another Class 3 race before a crack at the Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) on 9 June.

“He (Makin) is still in Class 3 and I think there is another race over 1400m coming up,” he continued.

“The way he is maturing, he settled very well today. I think he still has plenty of improvement in him and as a four-year-old, the Silver Bowl is obviously a target.

“It was a good result today for his owners (Al-Arabiya Stable) and hopefully, they can enjoy many more wins.”

Burridge agreed with Nunes that Makin had plenty more to offer.

“He’s (Makin) been beaten by some nice horses like Silo and Ace Of Diamonds of late, so I think he will measure up in good races,” said the Australian trainer.

“And he’s still putting on condition, so I think he still has plenty of improvement to come.

“I was worried today when Ace Of Diamonds kicked in the straight, so that was a top effort to run him down.”

Makin’s second win from 11 starts in Singapore took his prizemoney to over $110,000 for the Al-Arabiya Stable.
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