Trainer Donna Logan is an astute judge when it comes to young horses and young jockeys.
The Kiwi conditioner hoped stable apprentice jockey Jamil Sarwi and promising three-year-old Gun can combine for a win in the $75,000 Novice race over 1200m on Sunday.
Jamil, who bagged 12 wins last year, finished second to fellow apprentice jockey Jerlyn Seow on the apprentice jockeys’ log. He was legged aboard the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable-owned gelding by his master trainer in an Open Maiden race (1200m) on 9 December and Gun opened his account then.
The three-kilo claimer kept the ride on the son of Extreme Choice after the pair ran second to Aniki in a Novice race over the same trip on 30 December.
Logan was more than happy to stay with the in-form combination in a similar field on Sunday.
“Why not?” said Logan, who also indentures apprentice jockeys Ibrahim Mamat and Chong Shin Wah.
“He (Jamil) is riding really well and won for me last week on Trident (in a Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m on 6 January). We know he’s more than capable and more importantly, he can claim three kilos. That’s a good combination and I know I’ll get a good, honest ride.
“I like to give all my apprentice jockeys the confidence to shine and he showed last season that with opportunities, he can get results. He’s learning all the time.
“He knows the horse well and rides Gun at 51.5kgs with the claim, so if he (Gun) handles the Polytrack, they should go close.”
Logan’s Polytrack fears stem from an uncharacteristic poor effort by Gun after he ran a long last at his only start on the all-weather track in Restricted Maiden company over 1100m on 28 October.
While the turf looked like a safer option, the conditions of a Novice race were too good to miss and Logan knew a young horse can be forgiven for one bad run.
“He went terrible for (jockey) Ronnie (Stewart) that day,” said Logan.
“So there is a query on the Polytrack. He didn’t like the kickback that day, but he’s a young horse and has a lot to learn.
“Hopefully, he gets some clean air for Jamil from barrier four and with the light weight, he can show his best. There aren’t a lot of Novice races on the grass coming up, so this was the best option.”
Apart from Gun, Logan has the Singaporean apprentice jockey booked on five other runners within her group of 13 nominees on Sunday, including the promising Rhett Butler, who returns to racing in the $50,000 Class 4 race over 1200m first-up.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing Rhett Butler back at the races after an injury,” said Logan of the three-year-old son of Charm Spirit.
“He hasn’t raced since the Group 3 two-year-old race (Golden Horseshoe over 1200m on 23 July) and his maiden win was in good company on the Polytrack (in a Restricted Maiden race over 1100m on 29 April).
“I have a lot of time for him (Rhett Butler) and with Jamil’s claim, he only has 48kgs to carry. I was happy with his recent trial (finished second to Sebastian in trial no 3 on 19 December) and regardless, he will improve on this run.
“Of his (Jamil’s) other rides for me, Rocky (x El Roca) loves the Polytrack and is a top four chance with no weight (49kgs) in a suitable race ($50,000 Class 4 race over 1700m).
“Knippenberg (x I Am Invincible) has only won on the turf but he placed behind Bestseller on the Polytrack (in a Novice race over 1200m on 18 February), so he should go well in the ($70,000) Class 3 race (1200m).
“I have two other runners in the same race – Countofmontecristo and Stenmark, but I think coming off a nice win and from a good gate (four), Knippenberg should get a good run and be strong late. Jamil’s claim is also a bonus.”
– Singapore Turf Club