What's New does it in style

What's New scoring easily with birthday boy Michael Rodd astride in Race 2 at Kranji last night. She won by 21/2 lengths. What's New, the favourite when the smart money came in at the last minute, paid $13.
What's New scoring easily with birthday boy Michael Rodd astride in Race 2 at Kranji last night. She won by 21/2 lengths. What's New, the favourite when the smart money came in at the last minute, paid $13.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

Cliff Brown-trained filly wins second-up to give jockey Rodd a birthday present

More often than not, the market is the best guide to jump on the bandwagon.

That was the case in Race 2 at Kranji last night when the favouritism changed hands just before the "off" between Crown Gift and What's New in the $85,000 Restricted Maiden event over 1,200m.

Crown Gift opened as the $9 favourite but drifted to start at $17 when the money came in at the last minute for What's New, who duly obliged to win convincingly by 21/2 lengths and pay $13.

Fittingly, What's New's victory was a nice birthday present for Dester Singapore Gold Cup-winning jockey Michael Rodd, who turned 36 yesterday.

It was no surprise when What's New was spot-on when the smart money poured in.

After all, the Cliff Brown-trained three-year-old filly ran a good second behind Destroyer Eclipse in her Oct 27 debut with apprentice Amirul Ismadi astride and had trained on since.

Being "only a baby", as Brown put it, What's New was given a short break which did her a world of good.

She resumed training with vigour and showed she was ready to make amends for her first-up defeat by winning her trial with Rodd atop last week.

Although she did not break fast last night, Rodd bided his time even when she appeared to be travelling sixth and about seven lengths behind the leader Thoth Warrior.

Crown Gift was a couple of lengths behind What's New and wide.

Thoth Warrior straightened up first but was swarmed by a cavalry charge at the 300m mark, including What's New on the outside.

With only hands-and-heels riding, What's New opened up in style to score a win that suggested her vast potential and ability.

The winning time on the yielding track was good, 1min 10.35sec.

Brown reckoned the way What's New finished her race, she would be better over more ground.

Rodd felt What's New was a completely different horse last night on the way to the start.

"Her stride was half a length bigger," said the Australian jockey.

"That gave me plenty of confidence. She's got gears and she put the race away really well."

Trainer Young Keah Yong, who broke through for his first career win with Amistad last Sunday, was disappointed with Crown Gift's fifth placing.

"He had a wide barrier and sat a bit too far back. Too much ground to make up. He came back okay," said the dejected Singaporean.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2018, with the headline 'What's New does it in style'. Print Edition | Subscribe