Chase Me provides Koh with breakthrough win
Report: Singapore, Sunday
Kranji: Emirates Singapore Derby (Group 1), 1m2f
TRAINER Desmond Koh secured the biggest win of his career when he took won the S$1.15 million (£584,000) Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby with Chase Me on Sunday.
In a relatively short career spanning seven years, he had just one Group 1 win to his name in the Patron's Bowl with Phenom in 2008 but he came close when Eclair Fastpass finished second to Rocket Man in the Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint in 2010.
The Derby also happened to be another one which got away when mare New Rose Wood finished three-quarters of a length behind Race Ahead in 2010.
But Chase Me, a horse he had prepared specifically for the Derby, the third and final leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, for some time, finally gave him victory in one of Singapore's feature races.
Settled by leading jockey Joao Moreira in the first half of the field, Chase Me raced between runners behind the steady tempo set by leader Red Beard (Opie Bosson).
The pace suddenly picked up from the four-furlong mark where Moreira decided to take closer order aboard Chase Me.
Finding room on the outer, Chase Me pinched a commanding break of three lengths on the pack, and while one of the well-fancied runners Deep Pockets (Danny Beasley) and the winner's stablemate Arowana Dot Com (Saifudin Ismail) tried valiantly to peg him back, the bird had already flown.
Chase Me kept kept on strongly to score by eight lengths from Deep Pockets, with Arowana Dot Com settling for third.
Koh said: "This horse is a slow developer and it's only in the last year or so that I've decided that he could be my Derby horse.
"Joao came along and he has always had a lot of confidence in that horse. We've worked closely together since, just like we worked together with New Rose Wood in the Singapore Gold Cup two years ago.
"I've stepped him up in his work gradually and I was really happy with the way he has been running on in the first two legs.
"To finish one-and-three in the Derby, it doesn't get any better than that. I always knew Arowana Dot Com would get the trip, but his draw wasn't so good and he overcame that to show how good he was.
"This is by far the biggest win of my career. This is what makes training horses all worth it."