Head Down From October For A Three-Way Finish

Saturday at Kranji

October put his head down where it mattered in an exciting three-way finish in the SG$75,000 Restricted Maiden race on Saturday at Kranji.

Coming from fourth position one-off the rails in the running, the Stephen Gray-trained three-year-old was set alight on the outside by jockey Ryan Curatolo at the 400m, with two other promising youngsters, Fire (Manoel Nunes) and favourite June (Vlad Duric) joining in the fight at the 200m.

October (Ryan Curatolo, red cap) wins by a head in Race 2 (Pic – Singapore Turf Club)

Fire got the upper hand momentarily at the 150m mark, but the two Falcon Racing No 7 Stable-owned horses on his inside, October and June, were still up for the tussle. Under a hard drive from Duric, it looked like June could win the bob from October, but when push came to shove, the latter proved hard to mow down.

The son of Ocean Park fought back and took out his first win by a head. Fire came in second while June was nosed out into third.

The winning time was 1 min 23.21secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.

Assistant-trainer Saimee Jumaat knew October was not quite the finished article yet but was relieved to see him get on the board at his fifth start.

“He was ‘floating around’ in the straight and I wasn’t too sure, but when the other horse (Fire) came alongside him, he picked up again,” said the former multiple Singapore champion jockey, who stood in for Gray who was in New Zealand for the 2024 New Zealand Board Karaka Yearling Sale.

“He’s still a bit green but he’s came on a bit from the last couple of runs.

“He’s done a good job and we’ll see how he goes. He’s bred to stay and he’s looking for more grounds.

“It would be nice to have a Novice race next for him to progress naturally before he goes to open company. It could be 1400m or 1600m for him next.

“He was supposed to be jockey Matthew’s Kellady ride, but unfortunately, he’s out for now, so we were lucky to have Ryan on the ride.

“Curatolo did take the horse out for a canter over the week once. He had to know the horse because October is still a bit quirky.”

October came home with two seconds at his last two starts when ridden by Kellady, but the latter is currently on the side-lines after suffering multiple fractures to his eye socket when Gemilang reared in the parade ring last Saturday.

Following a win aboard Commander Jones at his first meeting back in Singapore last week, Curatolo went on to score three wins on the bounce with Our Secret Weapon, October and Lion Spirit on Saturday.

The in-form French rider agreed October was a bit immature, but he had the right amount in the tank to finish on top of the rest.

“He felt good in the morning, was nice and relaxed, but he’s so much better on the turf and proved it today,” he said.

“The trainer Gray put him at the right distance. We had a good draw (4).

“He’s a bit green on the line when I asked him to go, but after going ‘left and right’ for a couple of times, he found just enough to put his head in front at the right time.

“I think 1400m might be the best distance for him now.”

Bought for NZ$60,000 as a two-year-old at the 2022 Ready2Run Sale, October has now taken his earnings to over SG$50,000 for connections.

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