Honest galloper Winning Cause revisited the winner's circle after he got up by a neck in the $100,000 Class 2 race over 1600m on Friday.
The win also ended a mini drought for trainer Ricardo Le Grange and jockey Nooresh Juglall. Both registered their last win with Pennywise in the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale Stakes over 1100m on June 3.
After an absence of more than eight months, Winning Cause, a six-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, was right on target at his fourth attempt with a short-head second to Viviano in a Kranji Stakes B race as his best performance before then.
Juglall, who was aboard the gelding at 23 of his 32 starts previously, was thrilled Winning Cause had bounced back to his best.
“He had been injured for a long time, had his comeback, and then ran second behind Viviano, which was very good,” said the Mauritian rider.
“He was just flat-footed at his last run, and was also jumping up in class.
“But he trialled very will that day (April 27 when third to Tannhauser) with me, and I was very happy with the way he was going.
“Today, I was a bit worried about the Short Course as it takes time to get going, but he had the heart to come back in the last bit. That bit of give in the ground suited him too.
“Big thanks to the team, and it’s always a pleasure to ride for Mark and Emily (Yong, owners of Tmen Stable).”
Winning Cause sprang out of the gates to sit third behind leader Lim’s Regard (Ryan Curatolo) and Solaris Spectrum (Emily Finnegan), with $13 favourite Kingsman (Vlad Duric) in fourth spot in a fairly strung out field of eight.
Turning for home, Finnegan called upon the Shane Baertschiger-trained rank-outsider Solaris Spectrum to give chase, but Lim’s Regard was not ready to give up.
Meanwhile, Winning Cause tried to cut back the margin on the outside, but still looked a bit dour. At the 100m, Kingsman closed in on his outside, and that’s when the American-bred chestnut found a second wind for that winning rally.
The $35 shot beat a valiant Lim’s Regard by a neck on the line, while Solaris Spectrum was nosed out into third. Kingsman ran fourth another half-a-length away.
The winning time for the 1600m on the Short Course was 1min 34.93secs.
Le Grange praised Winning Cause as big-hearted for the way he overcame fetlock injuries to return to the top after more than two years, since his last win in an Open Benchmark 74 race on January 15, 2016.
“He’s been an honest soldier to the stable, and to Mark and Emily,” said the South African handler.
“He has had chips taken out from both his front fetlocks, so I have to say a massive thanks to the vets from the Singapore Turf Club.
“It was a very honest and good ride from Nooresh. He kept at him the whole way.
“And big thanks to Mark and Emily too. I’ve had a lot of seconds, but the horses are running well. I am very happy with them.”
Lady Luck smiled again on the Le Grange-Juglall pairing at that Hari Raya Puasa day race meeting when Magic Wand handed them a double in the penultimate race, the $80,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1600m by a head from McGregor (Alysha Collett).
Winning Cause has now won five races and placed 11 times from 33 starts, amassing more than $368,000 in earnings for the Tmen Stable.