Biraz is one horse who seems to know when to rise to the occasion.
Last year, shortly after a stable transfer, he scored his first win for trainer Daniel Meagher on Kranji Mile day in a Class 3 race over 1200m.
The Per Incanto six-year-old has mixed his form a little since, but he did show a form revival at his last couple, landing a Kranji Stakes C race over 1200m two starts back on March 24.
But the Al-Arabiya Stable-owned sprinter was probably waiting for that auspicious May meeting to come up roses again.
Ridden by up-and-coming apprentice jockey Riduan Abu Bakar, Biraz settled into the box-seat in the $70,000 Korea Racing Authority Trophy, by coincidence also a Class 3 race over 1200m.
The moment the bunny Justice Light wobbled out of the race at the top of the straight, a wide-open passage presented itself to Biraz who needed no second invitation.
Biraz immediately put a space of two lengths on the chasing pack. By the 100m, he looked well clear, but Star Emperor and Heliosphere were making it interesting with their late challenges.
It proved too little too late, though, with Biraz saluting for the second time on the undercard of Kranji Mile evening, with half-a-length to spare from Star Emperor with Heliosphere third another head away.
The winning time was 1min 9.66secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
“He won this time last year, he’s a good genuine horse,” said Meagher.
“I didn’t tell the kid how to ride him, I don’t like to tie my riders down with instructions, just ride him where he is happy, ride him where he finds him.
“It’s good to win for Mansoor (Gandhi, Al-Arabiya Stable’s owner). He’s been a good supporter of mine.
“It’s also a good team effort as I was away for 12 days for dad’s Australian Hall of Fame induction.
“It’s a matter of putting him in the right race. He won good today and I think he may win a Class 2 with no weight.”
Riduan, who was returning from a careless riding ban, was delighted with the winning comeback.
“The horse (Biraz) was flying. He changed through his gears good,” said the four-kilo claiming New Zealand-trained Kelantan-born rider.
“I was behind the leader and coming into the straight, I woke him up and he was too good.”
Biraz has now established a handy record of three wins, four seconds and one win from 20 starts for prizemoney close to the $260,000 mark for the Al-Arabiya Stable. -STC