Trainer Bruce Marsh finally heaved a big sigh of relief at Kranji last night.
The pats on the back and the congratulations came thick and fast, as if the veteran New Zealand trainer had just won a big race in the third.
It wasn't. But the thrill, joy and excitement were similar to the time when he won the 1971 Melbourne Cup on Silver Knight as a jockey.
You see, Marsh had gone through an exasperating time this year - still without a win with a quarter of the season gone - and he finally broke the jinx last night.
Who has he to thank? Well, it's his five-year-old Uncle Lucky, who returned to the winning list with a facile victory in the $45,000 Class 4 Non Premier event over the Polytrack 1,100m. Uncle Lucky was his 55th runner of the season. His best results this year were five seconds and five thirds.
"Very happy about the win, great for the owners. It's onwards and upwards," said an elated Marsh.
"The horse was doing well going into the race, just needed a bit of luck. He was beautifully ridden and the stable worked very hard. It was a deserving win.
"At the moment, a lot of our horses are not ready, not a great team. We've some new horses coming and, hopefully, we will get some nice results later in the year."
Uncle Lucky failed in five starts after his last success on Oct 6 last year but appeared to be back in form with his preparations. The writing was on the wall when he won his trial last week .
Backed down to $23 second favourite last night, Uncle Lucky jumped well but jockey Craig Grylls allowed Dash to take the lead. The Kiwi rider made his move turning for home and hit the front shortly after straightening.
Jockey Barend Vorster brought the $12 favourite Prince Alexander up with a nice run but the energy used to make up ground after a slow start soon took its toll.
It was left to Lucky Six to give chase but the bird had flown. Uncle Lucky went to the post by two-and-three-quarter lengths for his fifth victory in 27 starts.
While the frustration is over for Marsh, it was, too, for Crown Gift - but continues for Good Catch.
This was after Crown Gift finally shed its maiden status at the expense of the luckless Good Catch in Race 2. Not for the lack of trying, Good Catch has now found one to beat in all his four starts.
Owned and trained by Young Keah Yong, Crown Gift had notched two seconds and three thirds from six earlier starts and his win provided his connections great relief and joy.
"Actually, we were quite frustrated with a few runs, always beaten by good horses. But, today, we put him in good shape and the win is quite meaningful for me, you know, under my own silks," said Young.
Winning jockey Benny Woodworth, who placed Crown Gift behind Good Catch and then fought a titanic tussle in the straight before kicking clear 150m out, said Crown Gift ran about last start when third to Terrific.
"He did the same tonight but, when challenging, he was better this time. Very good, after running second and third a few times," he said.
Friday’s South Africa results
1st 4 Rendezvous ($11-$7)
2nd 6 Truth Of Beauty ($8)
3rd 3 Eeshara ($10)
4th 7 U For Me
Forecast $13 Place Forecast (4-6) $8, (3-4) $7, (3-6) $15
Tierce $69 Trio $24
Quartet No winner ($798 jackpot carried forward to next race)
1st 13 Our Fair Lady ($10-$7)
2nd 8 Jade Ore ($19)
3rd 6 Mischievious ($9)
4th 4 Christmas Cracker
Forecast $44 Place Forecast (8-13) $17, (6-13) $7, (6-8) $30 Tierce $227
Trio $75 Quartet No winner ($1,290 carried forward) Quadro $109
Scratchings: 1 Fools Garden, 2 Abbeleigh, 11 Miss Evolution
1st 7 Multi Gold ($13-$6)
2nd 8 The Gown ($14)
3rd 4 Big Jay's ($8)
4th 1 Supreme Sword
Forecast $20 Place Forecast (7-8) $8, (4-7) $5, (4-8) $14 Tierce $225
Trio $34 Quartet $1,028 Quadro $147
1st 6 Quid Rides ($32-$10)
2nd 12 Belonje ($9)
3rd 11 Lotus Elan ($17)
4th 7 Shady World
Forecast $46 Place Forecast (6-12) $14, (6-11) $18, (11-12) $14
Tierce No winner ($2,078 carried forward) Trio $142 Quartet No winner ($210 carried forward)
Quadro No winner ($486 carried forward)
1st 7 Ruby Duchess ($60-$12)
2nd 10 Just Lucky ($14)
3rd 2 Close To My Heart ($19)
4th 6 Data Link
Forecast $175 Place Forecast (7-10) $44, (2-7) $53, (2-10) $29
Tierce $7,098 Trio $470
Quartet No winner ($398 carried forward) Quadro $376
Scratching: 1 Altitude
1st 12 Shine Like A Star ($79-$18)
2nd 1 Breakfast Club ($7)
3rd 7 Free Agent ($12)
4th 6 King Django
Forecast $55 Place Forecast (1-12) $22, (7-12) $48, (1-7) $13
Tierce $2,114 Trio $167
Quartet No winner ($1,192 carried forward) Quadro $169
Scratching: 10 Tubular Bell
Result of Race 7 was not available at press time. Log on to www.turfclub.com.sg for the results.