2 June 2018

Happy Saga brings the smiles back for Tan

Trainer Alwin Tan praised apprentice jockey Amirul Ismadi for his 10-out-of-10 ride aboard Happy Saga following a slashing victory on Friday night.

Amirul, who had one prior ride aboard the Real Saga six-year-old when a fast-finishing fifth in a similar event a month ago, certainly showed a patience of Job among the tailenders in the $45,000 Class 4 Non Premier race over 1700m, only setting his mount alight upon straightening as they went searching for the widest path.

After setting the pace from barrier rise, Jacks Secret (Zawari Razali) was still in with a shout at the 300m, but was soon collared by Big Banker (Mohd Zaki).

The pair were, however, left standing when Happy Saga ($52) sailed past with a blistering turn of foot, careering away towards a soft win, with four lengths to spare from Holy Grail (Daniel Moor) who came from even further than Happy Saga – last - to grab second place from Casey (Matthew Kellady) by half-a-length. The winning time was 1min 47.11secs for the 1700m on the Polytrack.

“It’s good for the boy. He rode a very patient race and he got the reward,” said Tan.

“We really needed the win. It’s a nice morale booster especially after we haven’t had a winner for a while (since Military Might on May 18).

“A big thank you to the owner Mr Chua Kang Lim who has been loyal to me from Day 1. This horse has been around for a while and on his last run, I gave him a chance tonight.”

Even though Amirul had the benefit of only one ride aboard Happy Saga, it was enough to give him a better insight on how to ride him.

“He’s an old and honest horse, but I know he’s always been the sort who dashes home late,” said Amirul.

“I rode him once, but I watched his last win when Michael Rodd rode him (April 30, 2017). You have to ride him cold.

“The pace was perfect. I was waiting for them to drop and when they did, I took him around horses and he was just too good.”

With that ninth win, Happy Saga has now taken his stakes earnings edging even closer to the $300,000 mark for the One Eight Eight Stable.

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Image: Singapore Turf Club