Recent Kranji stable mover The August didn’t wait too long to salute for his new handler.
At his first run for trainer Lee Freedman in the $70,000 Zac Spirit 2014 Stakes, a Class 3 Division 2 race over 1200m on Sunday, The August came with a withering acceleration to record an impressive win under back-from-suspension jockey A’Isisuhairi ‘Harry’ Kasim.
The former Melbourne sprinter-miler had shown some potential at his three starts for Daniel Meagher, clocking in one win (Class 4 race over 1200m) on August 8, but after he ran last at his third and last start for the Australian trainer three weeks later, owner Mr Chen Ching Lung decided it was time for a change of scenery.
Freedman may not have had the I Am Invincible five-year-old for long, but he could already tell what not to do with him.
“I told the owner he should look at racing him on the grass. His work on Polytrack was not inspiring,” said Freedman.
“His turf form was very good. In Australia, he even ran in the Caulfield Guineas two years ago.”
Then prepared by ex-jockey-turned-trainer and former Kranji acquaintance Brent Stanley, The August, who boasted two wins in Australia from 11 starts, six of which came in ‘black type’ events, finished out of the placings in the 2018 Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
No such ambitious path has been charted as yet for The August in Singapore, but Freedman was certainly pleased with the auspicious start under his care.
“We’ll go home and see how he does. He’ll end up at the top of Class 3 and we have to keep things in perspective,” he said.
“Harry was desperate for a win after coming back from a three-day suspension. He said he had been eating chicken rice out of a tin!”
Not riding at all in a feeble way, the Malaysian lightweight jockey certainly looked more starved of a much-needed win when he drove The August with all his vigour inside the last 300m, after being caught four wide without cover for most of the trip.
Though inclined to lay in, The August ($99) motored home to a 1 ¼-length win from Gold Star (Vlad Duric) with Lim’s Passion (Benny Woodworth) third another 1 ½ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 9.46secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
With that second win, The August has now made close to $65,000 in prizemoney for Mr Chen.