Trainer Donna Logan’s desire to combine with rising apprentice jockey Hakim Kamaruddin for a win was finally granted at Kranji on Saturday, and in double dose for good measure.
Known for being a talent spotter back home, having groomed many top apprentices, Logan had been supporting fellow Kiwi Mark Walker’s lad from Malaysia regularly in the last three months. Three seconds have come their way, including two with Good Luck Charm, but that first success has proven elusive.
Until that very Good Luck Charm turned exactly that at their 11th pairing by going one better in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1000m on Saturday.
Two races later, the floodgates were really and truly flung open when favourite Official also saluted in the $30,000 Class 5 Division 2 race over 1700m.
And by a happy coincidence, both winners have The Factor as their sire and are also raced by champion owner Falcon Racing Stable.
To Logan, the real “factor” was the young man’s polish in the saddle, helped no doubt by his three-kilo allowance as well.
“Hakim’s a very capable rider. He listens to instructions, but obviously horses also run for him,” said Logan.
“There’s just something about him. When you watch his ride on Good Luck Charm, you could see how he didn’t go eyeballing the (favourite and) leader (Resolution), and waited until the last 100m to get to work on him.
“He thinks about what he is doing, he will go a long way. Most of the time, it’s the first time he gets on my horses as he doesn’t ride them in work, but he rides them to instructions and it’s very encouraging for him.
“You actually saw how he carries instructions out to the letter on Official even more. I told him this horse doesn’t like kickback, and to get the best of him, he has to go around runners.
Official comes out tops thanks to a patient ride from Hakim Kamaruddin, picture Singapore Turf Club
“As he was drawn in three, you could see how he was thinking ‘how am I going to get out?’ but he did get the horse out and they won a nice race.”
Indeed, Hakim, who was formerly indentured to Frank Maynard in Malaysia and has now taken his Kranji score to 19 winners, six behind reigning champion Simon Kok Wei Hoong, showed a tactical mind beyond his age at both victories.
On the class riser and five-year-old entire Good Luck Charm ($16), the Kelantan-born rider had favourite Resolution in his sights from the start, and when they locked horns for a titanic duel in the home straight, Hakim went head to head against one of the most vigorous senior riders at Kranji, Louis-Philippe Beuzelin to eventually get his measure by half-a-length.
Al Green (Kok) ran third another 3 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 58.92secs for the Polytrack 1000m.
“Good Luck Charm worked very well and has taken no harm from his last run (scored at Class 5 level three weeks ago),” said Logan.
Hakim’s win atop Official was carved out in more or less the same register except he had to sweat for a run before he could be given full bore inside the last 150m.
Smothered inside runners for most of the way, the $16 favourite exploded away to a two-length win on Success Street (Shafrizal Saleh) with Vesontio (Juan Paul van der Merwe) in third another length away. The winning time was 1min 47.29secs for the 1700m on the Polytrack.
Good Luck Charm has now taken his budding career record to three wins, three seconds and three thirds for prizemoney around the $120,000 mark for the Falcon Racing No 8 Stable while Official is now a two-time winner from 20 starts for stakes earnings in excess of $60,000 for the same connections.