After taking up the running hard up against the rails, top-elect Super Posh (Ben Thompson) looked home and hosed as he doggedly held his ground into the home straight, but the cheers for the $12 favourite were, however, replaced by a deafening silence inside the last 100m when $273 shot Perfect Commando (Saifudin Ismail) popped out of the woodwork.
Stalking up in the box-seat from the get-go, the previous three-time winner by relatively unknown New Zealand stallion Ego (x E Dubai) did take a month of Sundays to wind up, but once he found the split, he pounced through to go and lower the colours of Super Posh to the astonishment of the crowd, including his trainer Young Keah Yong.
“I honestly thought he was just a Class 5 horse, but we prepared him for that Class 4 race and he ran super,” said Young.
“It’s a bit of a surprise, but I hope he can stay in this Class from now on.”
Previously under the care of trainers Alwin Tan and, briefly, Mok Zhan Lun, Perfect Commando has generally shown an inclination to dictate his own terms. He won two races for Tan (both Class 5 events over 1200m on turf) that way, as well as at his previous one victory for Young three starts back in a Class 5 race over 1100m on Polytrack on March 17.
But Young said he left no specific instructions to Perfect Commando’s first-time partner Saifudin Ismail on Friday.
“I knew there would be a fast pace. I just told Saifudin to ride him where he felt comfortable,” he said.
The veteran Malaysian jockey, who just got renewed for another six months and had a recent three-month suspension (for failing to ride Mr David to the satisfaction of the Stewards in a race on March 29) overturned on appeal, is certainly enjoying the rub of the green.
“I had plenty of cover, the pace was on and I thought the horses would come back to me,” said Saifudin.
“But the second horse (My Gold) was still there and it’s only when he slowed down that the gap came up. My horse then responded very well to win a nice race.”
With that fourth win and four previous placings gained from 32 starts, Perfect Commando has taken his stakes earnings past the $110,000 mark for the Thanksgiving Stable.