French jockey Marc Lerner delivered his first win for trainer Alwin Tan aboard Robin Hood (NZ) (Nom Du Jeu) in the $85,000 Class 2 race on Friday night, but it was not without some jitters in the concluding stages.
Turning into the home straight, race-leaders Augustano and Autumn Rush went for broke.
Meanwhile, the seven-year-old son of Nom Du Jeu, who had been trailing behind Autumn Rush, was bustled up by Lerner, who was atop for the first time.
Robin Hood hit the front at the 200m but began veering badly towards the outside. Favourite Paparazzi was storming home on the outside too, but luckily for Robin Hood, once Lerner switched the whip to his left hand. the long-shot straightened up to go and cross the line first with one-and-a-quarter lengths to spare from Paparazzi.
Smokie Saraab closed off well to finish another three-parts-of-a-length in third. The winning time was 1min 22.81secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.
Lerner, who was at his second ride for Tan after a pick-up ride on Happy Saga last week, reckoned the drop back in grade since the New Zealand gelding’s last start in the Colonial Chief Stakes (where he ran eighth behind Maximus) helped him win the race.
“Today he dropped back from a group race, and he had a good run,” said the rider who was at his sixth win, sitting one win off current leader Noh Senari on the jockeys’ premiership.
“Because of the wide draw, the trainer asked me to ride him where he is comfortable and happy, and as long as there is cover.
“He was all over the place in the straight, but he still won very well.
“The horse did most of the work, and he simply showed he was better tonight.”
With seven wins from 40 starts in Singapore, Robin Hood has raked in more than S$420,000 in prizemoney for the Eight Eight One Stable. -STC