After having to look for another jockey for TRUDEAU in Sunday's Group 2 EW Barker Trophy, trainer Bruce Marsh eventually teamed up with a rider he does not use all that often, despite him being hot property with most Kranji trainers - leading apprentice jockey A'Isisuhairi "Harry" Kasim.
Jockey Corey Brown rode both Trudeau and Daniel at their last starts, scoring a shock $308 win aboard the former in the Group 3 Garden City Trophy (1,200m) on Sept 15, while finishing a cracking second aboard Daniel for trainer Laurie Laxon in the last leg of the More Magic 3YO Championship (1,600m) on Oct 13.
But as he had to make a choice, the Australian hoop went for Laxon's exciting three-year-old in Sunday's handicap race.
Marsh, who has struck a successful association with Brown, having combined for seven wins, knows such switches are part and parcel of the horse-racing game, especially as most freelance jockeys like Brown are not tied down to any particular trainer in Singapore.
"It's like musical chairs, isn't it? Corey has decided to ride Daniel and that is his choice," said the Kiwi handler. "I was able to get Harry for the ride. He rode Trudeau once before.
"I couldn't be happier myself with the way my bloke is going, especially after he was gelded about a year ago. He's really improved since and showed it after that four-month break, when he won that feature race first-up.
"After that win, I did consider running him in the (Group 3) Saas Fee Stakes which is also over 1,400m, but I changed my mind as I was trying to play the handicap. I didn't want him to pick up too much of a penalty for the EW Barker Trophy."
After securing the services of A'Isisuhairi, who rode Trudeau at his second-last start when unplaced in a Kranji Stakes A race over 1,200m, Marsh was keen to get the boom apprentice jockey legged-up on Trudeau at his barrier trial on Tuesday morning where he finished fourth in a trial won by Goal Keeper.
Both Marsh and A'Isisuhairi had every reason to smile after the workout.
"It was a very good run. Bruce just told me to give him an easy trial and he did just that," said the Malaysian-born A'Isisuhairi who has never ridden a winner for Marsh since establishing himself in Singapore for about a year.
"He jumped well and put himself in a good spot and travelled nicely. Once I angled him out for his run, he just finished it off by himself without doing too much. I gave him a slap in the last 50m just to remind him of his job, and he responded well. He did it nicely to the line."
A'Isisuhairi said he was thankful for the opportunity to ride a decent chance in the EW Barker Trophy, especially as the runaway leader on the apprentice jockey's log has yet to break his duck in Group races, be it Singapore or New Zealand where he did his apprenticeship.
"I've had a few rides now, but I've not been lucky so far. This is a pretty good horse, and I hope this is the right one," said A'Isisuhairi.
A six-year-old by Exceed And Excel from Canadian Legacy, Trudeau has recorded seven wins from 33 starts in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore. He is given the minimum weight of 50kg in the EW Barker Trophy, just like all the other entries bar Mr Big (58kg), the highestrated horse on 115 points.
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