Logan has faith Makkem Lad can make it

Most pundits thought Makkem Lad would not get past the first Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, but here he is with his well-earned ticket to the Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) next Saturday.

Makkem Lad winning the DAVID LEE FREEDMAN STAKES CLASS 4
Makkem Lad winning the DAVID LEE FREEDMAN STAKES CLASS 4 Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Known more as a speedball, the son of Kuroshio, who boasts two wins over 1000m and 1200m on Polytrack, did not fire a shot in the Group 3 JBBA Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) on April 5, even after a dream run in a one-out one-back position.

Surprisingly, he still rocked up for the seven furlongs of the second Leg, the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic four weeks later. The performance was a major turnaround.

Ridden by apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen back to his favourite frontrunning tactics, Makkem Lad  was a winner everywhere but the winning post. If not for a classy Top Knight mustering all his might to lunge at the line, Donna Logan would have her first Singapore silverware sitting in her trophy cabinet by now. 

The second-year Kiwi trainer was still very proud of her charge and even if he just about saw out the trip in the Classic, she is well and truly throwing Makkem Lad in at the deep end in the Guineas even if the mile may be seen as the last frontier for the game sprinter. 

Logan simply said Makkem Lad had shown her enough to be entitled to a crack. 

“He deserves a crack. Actually, the Guineas was always his target even if the mile is the whole question mark,” she said. 

“But he is also more mature now and is a clean-winded horse. In the early days, he was less settled, but he’s a lot more settled in himself now. 

“He kept a spring in his feet after his last run. All that told us we’ve got to try the Guineas. 

“We’ve been working on his stamina since his last win. He will have a good gallop next week, and that should set him up nicely for it. 

“Besides, you turn three only once. We can only hope he will get the trip.” 

Logan has handed the reins back to Wong, who does team up with her once in a while. The pair share two winners on the board thus far – Burkaan and Storm To Win. 

Incidentally, those two horses are among her small team of four runners this week (two on Friday and two on Sunday) with Wong reuniting with Storm To Win (Friday) since that last win while Burkaan (Sunday) will be ridden by Simon Kok Wei Hoong. 

She also saddles Gamely (Kok) on Friday and Shahbaa (Glen Boss) on Sunday. 

“We’ve got decent chances like Burkaan, a last-start winner. Gamely is knocking on the door,” she said. 

“We’ve had a lot of seconds lately. It would be nice to get a winner this week.” 

While Logan, a winner of 850-odd races including 60 at Group and Listed level back in New Zealand and who has notched up 23 winners at Kranji thus far, was rueing her lack of luck at Kranji, her colours shone brightly back home on Wednesday. 

Four of her horses, now trained by Chris Gibbs and Michelle Bradley, won at her former home base of Whangarei at Ruakaka – Mumms Jewel, Mac Attacka, Call Me Murphy and Dragon Storm. 

“We won four races today at Whangarei. We bought these horses and syndicated them out,” said Logan. 

“It’s great to see four of them win today.”
Singapore Turf Club