24 June 2018

One Two for PRP as Southern Spur Defeats Nepean

Southern Spur emerged a narrow but gutsy winner in the $80,000 Association of Racehorse Trainers Singapore race over 1400m on Sunday.

Tracking up the speedy Galileo’s Approach (Matthew Kellady) from the get-go in the Class 3 race, trainer Saimee Jumaat’s Northern Meteor four-year-old attacked the line with great resolve from the top of the straight all the way to the line.

Galileo’s Approach put up a bold opposition but it was his stablemate Nepean (John Powell) who was looking more menacing down the middle of the track. 

Lim’s Dashing (Daniel Moor) was also looming on the outside, but Southern Spur ($26) kept sticking it out under Wong’s hard riding to claim the top prize by a neck from Nepean, no doubt the 5.5 kilos pull in weights between the two a huge factor. Lim’s Dashing had to settle for third place separated by a similar margin.

The winning time was 1min 22.8secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

Blessed with talent, Southern Spur has often been around the mix with four placings, but was finally bringing up his first 2018 win to add on to his maiden win scored from start to finish in a Class 4 race over 1400m on December 3.

The ATL Stable has already collected prizemoney in excess of $125,000 from his two wins and three placings.

Saimee described Southern Spur as a honest customer who may have reached his ceiling, but who may also just keep surprising him.

“He’s quite a chunky horse, but he’s all heart and has some ability,” said the former top jockey.

“He was getting challenged on the inside and outside but he kept fighting them off. Class 3 is about his mark, but like I said, he’s all heart and he may take the next step, you never know.”

Saimee said he was enjoying a mixed year, but was overall happy with the way his first full season has panned out.

“I’ve lost quite a few horses to Malaysia, but I also have a big team of new horses coming up,” said the Singaporean handler.

“Things are going okay and I’m looking forward to the second half of the season.”

Wong, the two-time Singapore champion apprentice jockey, would no doubt also be looking forward to more winners coming his way as the season goes into its last six months. Long time in an unusually subdued position behind current leader Troy See, the Penang rider has been picking up more momentum of late, with Southern Spur taking him to 13 winners, four behind See.

“I’m very happy the owners (ATL Stable) and the trainer have put me on this horse,” said Wong, who has been riding Southern Spur at his last five outings bar one, but was at his first winning partnership.

“There was a good pace to the race and in the straight, my horse gave a good response. He fought all the way to the line.”

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