Brown saddles a Barker Quinella

Mister Yeoh (No. 4, Ben Thompson astride) staving off Zac Kasa in the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy race over 1,400m.
Mister Yeoh (No. 4, Ben Thompson astride) staving off Zac Kasa in the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy race over 1,400m.ST PHOTO: SALWA SUANDI

Trainer's Mister Yeoh and Zac Kasa justify favouritism in EW Barker Trophy race

As always, the $500,000 EW Barker Trophy turned out to be as exciting as a horse race could get.

Thanks in a huge part to trainer Cliff Brown who collected the quinella with Mister Yeoh and Zac Kasa.

Racegors sent them off as the first and second picks and, true to form, that's how they finished the 1,400m contest.

Back on his game after losing out in his last start, Mister Yeoh had strutted around the mounting yard, carrying the hard eye of a contender.

Obviously, he brought it to the race. Allowing Zac Kasa to dictate things, he stayed second. At the 400m mark, the two stablemates had the race wrapped up.

Then again, when three great individuals come together, they usualy spawn something even greater.

Yesterday, in the EW Barker Trophy race, trainer Brown, 21-year-old visiting jockey Ben Thompson and Mister Yeoh combined to produce something which was pure magic.

Yes, at the end, class and character had done the job. Zac Kasa gave his all, but was found a tad lacking. He went down by 1/2 length. A winner last year, Clarton Super tried for a repeat but could only manage third spot.

Earlier in the evening, Bold Thruster blitzed his opponents to take home the Sass Fee Stakes.

Although his "opponents" represented the future of Kranji racing, Bold Thruster proved to be a star on his own.

Before the race, the talk was about the seven runners. All three-year-olds, between them they had raced 28 times for 13 wins and seven minor placings.

So we said it would be a closely fought contest. Bold Thruster proved us wrong. He owned the race - from pillar to post.

Looking as black as Zorro's steed, he got the jump on his rivals at the start and never gave it back.

Five hundred metres covered and Bold Thruster - with just five races under his girth - hugged the running rail as though he had doing it for years.

Autumn Assault, Lim's Lightning and Quarter Back kept him busy - but they never threatened.

Halfway down the stretch and Bold Thruster was bowling along. Helped by the steady hands of Barend Vorster, he scooted away, methodicaly breaking the hearts and burning the lungs of everything behind him.

Looking relaxed, he answered the challengers when they came at him. 13/4 lengths was the winning distance. It was sublime.

So,the grandstand erupted. The faithful looked around and pumped their fists, knowing they had just witnessed the coming of age of yet another Kranji star.

They were spot-on.

Kudos to his Shane Baertschiger. When a trainer and his team do rare things, those moments elevate the sport, making it nobler than it is.

We were told, only later, that Bold Thruster had a bout of colic on Thursday night but his team burnt the midnight oil - ensuring that their youngster was as fit as could be for the task ahead.

They couldn't have done a better job.


Friday's South Africa results

RACE 1

1st 13 Estimet ($34-$10)

2nd 8 Lloyd George ($7)

3rd 17 Hurricane Sasha ($20)

4th 2 The Greek Soldier

Forecast $20 Place Forecast (8-13) $11, (13-17) $30, (8-17) $23

Tierce $749 Trio $110 Quartet No winner ($134 carried forward to next race) Scratching: 3 Chanone's Theory, 15 My Prerogative

RACE 2

1st 15 Bushiri ($12-$7)

2nd 8 Destiny's Child ($12)

3rd 13 Boldness ($14)

4th 7 Malinda

Forecast $23 Place Forecast (8-15) $8, (13-15) $20, (8-13) $18

Tierce $321 Trio $67 Quartet No winner ($282 carried forward)

Scratching: 9 Torvill, 11 Episode One, 18 Nay Thura

RACE 3

1st 1 Afrikaburn ($32-$9)

2nd 3 Go Direct ($19)

3rd 5 Streak Of Silver ($8)

4th 7 Story Of My Life

Forecast $113 Place Forecast (1-3) $19, (1-5) $9, (3-5) $11 Tierce $711

Trio $66 Quartet $1,806

RACE 4

1st 2 Three Times A Lady ($9-$6)

2nd 4 Just Call Me Angel ($22)

3rd 5 Honey's Legacy ($12)

4th 7 Step Out

Forecast $62 Place Forecast (2-4) $17, (2-5) $7, (4-5) $56

Tierce $405 Trio $122 Quartet No winner ($1,362 carried forward)

RACE 5

1st 2 Klever Kathy ($24-$7)

2nd 4 March Music ($5.10)

3rd 1 Carlita ($6)

4th 5 Vertical

Forecast $8 Place Forecast (2-4) $4, (1-2) $3, (1-4) $3

Tierce $57 Trio $5

Quartet $172

Results of Races 6 and 7 were not available at press time. Log on to www.turfclub.com.sg for the results.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'Brown saddles a Barker Quinella'. Print Edition | Subscribe