Easy Does It is back

Easy Does It (yellow cap) making a dream debut on Oct 15, 2017. The chestnut gelding seems to have come back good from a tendon injury.
Easy Does It (yellow cap) making a dream debut on Oct 15, 2017. The chestnut gelding seems to have come back good from a tendon injury. PHOTO: STC

Gray-trained 4YO wins trial with plenty in hand after long spell out nursing a tendon injury in M'sia

The aptly named Easy Does It created a favourite impression, then went off the radar.

Racegoers wondered what happened to the smart debut winner in October 2017. The horse went missing in action last year. He did not race at all and had only one trial for a fourth behind Sir Isaac on Jan 9.

But fret not.

The Stephen Gray-trained four-year-old New Zealand-bred chestnut gelding is back, after spending a good time in Malaysia nursing a tendon injury.

The word is he is back "as good as before his injury".

At Thursday morning's trials at Kranji, Easy Does it caught the eye by winning, despite being kept on a tight hold by young Australian jockey Ben Thompson.


    1 Easy Does It (B Thompson) ★

    2 Asia Sprint (N Hanafi)

    3 Stock Broker (S Shafrizal)

    4 Oxbow Sun (T Rehaizat)

    5 Peisha Gain (S Noh)

    MARGINS AND TIME 11/4, 33/4, 43/4, 11/2 (1min 01.62sec)

Tracking trainer Desmond Koh's pair of Oxbow Sun (Tengku Rehaizat) and Asia Spirit (Hanafi Noorman) from the start, the imposing galloper was not even out of second gear as he ambled past Asia Spirit inside the last 150m to go on and win the trial comfortably.

Had Thompson released the brakes, the winning margin would, for sure, be wider than 11/4 lengths and the time for the 1,000m on the Polytrack faster than 1min 01.62sec.

After his debut success in Restricted Maiden on Oct 15, 2017, Easy Does It finished third to King Louis in a Novice event over a similar 1,200m trip on turf second-up on Nov 12 that year.

But the son of former two-time Singapore Horse of the Year Super Easy unfortunately went amiss after that.

Gray has always held Easy Does It in high regard, even before his first-up victory with Alan Munro astride. But the Kiwi handler had to put his lofty plans - the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge series - on the back-burner.

This was because the gelding, unfortunately, suffered suspensory issues early in the new 2018 season.

The disappointment was even more pronounced, given Easy Does It was one of the first horses from his yard to be syndicated out.

"He did his tendon after his second run. It was his suspensory," said Gray.

"That was a shame as he did show plenty of promise at his debut win, and he was one of the first horses we had in syndication.

"He beat Zac Kasa (third) on that day, and look what Zac Kasa has gone on to achieve. Then he ran an unlucky third before he broke down.

"He had a year off in Malaysia with Sandy Lines. They've done a great job with him and he's come back as good as he was before the injury.

"He looked pretty good this morning. We've given him every chance and he's grown out further."

Gray has not mapped out any specific plan for Easy Does It, preferring to ease him back into the game at the right time and in the right race.

"He's back racing in the second week of May in a Class 4 race over 1,200m," he said.

"Since we've waited that long for him, I preferred to wait until the Polytrack races are over. I didn't want to run him on Poly.

"He's a nice horse and it's taken a long time to get him back. This game is not for sooks, he's doing well and we're now in the lap of Gods."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2019, with the headline 'Easy Does It is back'. Print Edition | Subscribe