Nooresh Juglall felt a sense of déjà vu after he steered Shoot Up High (NZ) (Coats Choice) to a spirited win in the last race in Singapore, the S$45,000 Class 4 Non Premier race over 1200m, on Friday night.
One week ago, the Mauritian jockey was staring down the barrel of a blank Friday meeting until his sixth and final ride Smooth Operator (Mint Lane) bailed him out in the last race – yes, also a Class 4 Non Premier race, but over 1400m.
The same thing happened one week later. Five previous rides – mainly roughies at four-figure odds - had all gone by the wayside, but Shoot Up High ($30) made sure he would not be left out of the scoresheet in the Lucky Last.
Both winners are trained by Leslie Khoo and both carry the blue, red and yellow silks of He’s Dawan Stable (ex-Trend Stable). He’s Dawan was a former champion sprinter at Bukit Timah in the late 80’s.
Well ridden by Juglall, the resuming Shoot Up High picked himself off the canvas to make a late comeback and score by half-a-length (same winning margin as Smooth Operator).
“It feels like déjà vu! Last Friday, I won on Smooth Operator in the same colours for Leslie and tonight it’s Shoot Up High, again for Leslie,” said Juglall.
“A big thank you to Leslie and the owner who have supported me from day one. This horse showed a lot of heart to win.
“With the good draw, the plan was to lead. I saved him as much as I can and in the straight, I gathered him up.
“I wasn’t too worried when the other horses headed him as I still had plenty of horse under me. I waited for the last 100m to go for it and the horse gave it to me with both hands.”
Khoo said Shoot Up High had been sidelined by a few knee issues, and was delighted he had returned a winner.
“This horse has a screw in his knee, but he showed his big heart throughout to win first-up,” said the Singaporean handler.
“The plan was to go forward, and even though he was taken on late, he kept fighting back. He has won over 1200m only (previous win with Alan Munro up in April 2017), but he can get 1400m no problem.”
Shoot Up High has now won two races and placed four times from 13 starts for prizemoney that has now tipped over the S$100,000 mark for the He’s Dawan Stable. -STC