It was indeed a Happy Saturday for David Kok and his new owner Sia Wei Kiang when a new ward of theirs going by that name made all to open his account second-up in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1200m at Kranji.
Ridden by Benny Woodworth, the Rock ‘N’ Pop three-year-old was one of the best away and never relinquished his pole position throughout the Polytrack scamper.
Odds-on favourite and debutant Tigarous (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) was not travelling like a $8 pop at the back, being already under hard riding from the 600m while Happy Saturday ($18) was off and gone the moment Woodworth shook the reins up.
Happy Saturday (Benny Woodworth) makes winning look easy in Race 2, picture Singapore Turf Club
Under hands-and-heels riding, Happy Saturday bolted in to leave the chasing pack fighting for the minors around six lengths astern. Tigarous laboured home to scrape in for second by a nose from Raging Brave (Mohammad Nizar). The winning time was 1min 11.89secs for the 1200m on the Polytrack.
Kok, who bought Happy Saturday for the paltry sum of NZ$4,000 at the New Zealand Yearling sale, was certainly chuffed with the happy returns at only his second run. At his debut, he ran sixth to Mardoona in a Restricted Maiden race over 1100m.
“The field was quite open at his first run, but today the field was weaker and he won easily,” said the Singaporean handler who was at his first win at this post-Circuit Breaker to raise his score to five winners for 2020.
“At his last trial, he led, and we knew he had some gate speed. I told Benny to jump fast and if nobody else wants to go forward, to just let him roll, but if they go crazy, just take a sit.
“He managed to go forward and he won an easy race in the end. It’s good for his owner Wei Kiang who is new to racing, that’s the first horse I train for him and there’s another one, Happy Sunday (x Sweynesse), who hasn’t raced yet.
“I bought Happy Saturday at the New Zealand Yearling Sale for only NZ$4,000. I like Rock ‘N’ Pops, I had Refresh (four-time winner) by the same sire before, they are early types.
“There was nothing wrong with Happy Saturday at the sale, maybe the sire is not hot anymore for some reason. It suited me fine as I thought NZ$4,000 was a steal.”
Kok was also relieved he was off the mark in that season restart.
“It’s been tough like for everybody, but I’m happy I got my first winner after the break,” he said.
“Hopefully, there’ll be more winners to come from now on.”