Donna Logan paid compliments to her apprentice jockey Yusoff Fadzli for a cool and astute ride astride Golden Flame, even when the pre-race tactics didn’t pan out as planned at Kranji on Saturday.
Lined up in the $50,000 Class 4 race over the turf mile, the Mossman six-year-old took a rearward spot on the rails – not quite the positive ride the Kiwi handler had wanted from the Malaysian rider.
But Yusoff showed plenty of maturity by pulling out Plan B, which can basically be summed up in two words: ‘Don’t panic’.
Golden Flame (Yusoff Fadzli, No 1) strides past his rivals to score, picture Singapore Turf Club
Keeping his fingers crossed the runs would still present themselves despite being further back than he wanted, Yusoff indeed had luck on his side when, momentarily stuck behind three runners two furlongs out, leader Superlative (Krisna Thangamani), Asaad (Danny Beasley) and Atlas (Simon Kok Wei Hoong), he made his own luck by peeling off their heels in search of daylight on the outside.
A few strides astern, favourite Relentless (Marc Lerner) was joining the fray down the middle of the track with his customary turn of speed, but suddenly hit a brickwall, which pretty much dashed his chances to the ground there and then.
Golden Flame ($81) had on the other hand hit top gear once he found himself in more ample galloping room, going on to score by three parts of a length from Superlative with Atlas third another head away. The winning time was 1min 35.84secs for the 1600m on the Long Course.
“The drop in class and barrier one helped, but Yusoff also rode him a treat,” said Logan.
“I told him to be up there early, but the horse just couldn’t muster the necessary speed. I also told him to balance up the horse, save ground and save him up for as long as he could on that long run home, and he rode to instructions.”
Yusoff, who has now provided three-quarter of Logan’s haul of four winners in 2021 (only other winning jockey for Logan was John Powell aboard the same Golden Flame three starts back), said he kept his cool even after he was beaten for speed at the start.
“Boss told me to go forward, but we had faster horses that came around us,” said Yusoff.
“I decided to sit behind and wait for the home straight. When the gaps came up, he quickened very well.”
Golden Flame has now established a handy record of five wins and 12 placings from 32 starts for prizemoney in excess of $240,000 for the Golden Billion Stable.