Smart Polytrack sprinter Akhtar handed trainer Jason Ong his first five-time haul at Kranji after he romped away to an effortless win in the SG$50,000 Class 4 race 1000m on Saturday.
That win also brought up a four-timer for jockey Bruno Queiroz; his first in Singapore since relocating to Singapore in July this year.
Ong started the day with Dragon Master breaking his maiden status in the opener, and with stablemate Nature Chief (Koh Teck Huat) finishing in second, they brought up a quinella for Ong.
The leading trainer then got an early double after War Star also got off the mark in the Open Maiden race over 1200m.
Favourite Healthy Baby saluted for Ong three races later in the SG$20,000 Maiden race and the son of Sweynesse was also the second winner for Queiroz, who saluted earlier on the Tan Kah Soon-trained favourite Lonhro Gold in the SG$30,000 Class 5 Division 2 race.
The ‘Ong-Queiroz’ show rolled on in race seven on the card when Top Field out ran City Gold Friend to score four straight wins in the SG$50,000 Class 5 race over 1600m.
Yet, none of Ong’s winners were as impressive as Akhtar in the last race on Saturday.
After being tardily away, Queiroz made his intentions clear and settled the five-year-old son on I Am Invincible a length clear, albeit wide, by the 700m.
In the straight, the Brazilian hoop put a couple of lengths on the chasing pack without moving a muscle.
When he pushed the button at the furlong marker, Akhtar responded in spades before winning eased down by three-and-a-quarter lengths.
Always Together (Clyde Leck) ran on well to finished second with Colonel Son (Iskandar Rosman) another one-and-a-quarter lengths back in third.
The winning time was 58.49secs for the 1000m on the Polytrack. Akhtar’s second win from six starts in Singapore took his earnings to over SG$74,000 for the King Power Stable.
Ong was overjoyed with Saturday’s results and praised his staff for the work behind the scenes.
“My first five-timer – I don’t know what to say,” said the Singaporean conditioner, who now leads the 2023 trainer’s premiership on 52 wins for the season.
“Everything came together. It’s a team effort, from the stable boys to the farriers to the riders. Everyone put in the effort and it added up to today’s results.
“Two of my winners today, Top Field and Dragon Master, had issues with their feet, so the team of farriers, Jessen Dennison, Paul Summers and Chris Matts all contributed.
“And the jockeys, Bruno and Manoel Nunes, gave so much feedback on my horses. Zyrul Nor Azman does a lot of work for me too, so does senior track rider Hasri Rahiman, who is really gentle with my horses and keeps them happy.”
Of his five winners, Ong made special mentions of Top Field and Akhtar while also praising Queiroz for his skills in the saddle.
“Top Field winning four in-a-row is special,” he said. “I was worried about the top weight (59kgs) and Top Field got a check at the 600m or thereabouts I think, but Bruno allowed him to relax and rode him beautifully.
“Akhtar won very well. It was a shame Zyrul couldn’t ride him we wanted to claim and he deserved the ride, but Bruno did a very good job.
“I was worried when Queiroz hadn’t made a move in the straight when I thought they were challenging him, but he knew. That win topped off a great day for everyone.”
Queiroz, who is famously the godson of international superstar jockey Joao Moreira, thought Akhtar has more to offer and was grateful for the opportunities in Singapore.
“I think Akhtar is a very good horse,” said Queiroz, who has ridden 20 winners thus far this season.
“His win today was very good and I think he will win more races. I am very happy to have ridden four winners today. I have to thank the trainers who gave me the opportunities to win.”