Three-in-a-row for S John

Per Inpower comes with a late rush on Friday night. Photo: Singapore Turf Club

John Sundradas took the Friday night’s jockeys’ challenge hands-down with a hat-trick of wins recorded in quick succession.

The local rider began the rout with odds-on favourite Golden Kid (NZ) (Per Incanto) in the $20,000 Open Maiden-2 race over 1200m before making a swift return to the winner’s enclosure with Braced (NZ) (Postponed) in the next race, the $50,000 Class 4 race over 1700m, and completing the great night at the office with Per Inpower (NZ) (Per Incanto) in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1400m.

The former Singapore champion apprentice jockey said he had been rather bullish of walking away with at least one winner when he looked at his book of seven rides, singling out Per Inpower as his best chance, followed by Strong N Powerful (Golden Archer), but the treble was a happy bonus.

John couldn’t, however, help ruing the one that got away – and could have potentially made it a four-timer if Strong N Powerful had been less wayward in Race 2, the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1400m.

“I’ve won three before, but it could have been four if Strong N Powerful was not so green. He was going in and out, and just missed out,” said John.

“I knew I had a nice book of rides tonight. I thought Per Inpower was my best chance and I also made Strong N Powerful a very good chance, while Golden Kid became a top chance after Pindus was scratched, he won easy.

“Per Inpower ran a very good race. He likes to hang in and I had to be patient with him; we got there at the right time.”

The Per Incanto four-year-old gave the impression he would be outsprinted at the 300m while favourite Gold Star (Redente) was being hailed the winner after weaving his way through a packed field to hit the front from the resuming Destroyer Eclipse (NZ) (Alamosa).

But John, who was also aboard at Per Inpower’s previous two wins, showed he knew how to extract the best out of that gelding inside the last 150m to make it a third win in a row.

Gold Star ran second three parts of a length away with Salamence (Foxwedge) third another 1 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 21.76secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.

Winning trainer Kuah Cheng Tee, who has endured a topsy-turvy season thus far, was glad he had a consistent customer like Per Inpower under his barn roof. The New Zealand-bred is now among three of Kuah’s haul of 13 winners for the year.

“I’ve said before that this horse is problematic. He’s gone through so many gear changes, and I think I’ve got the perfect gear now,” said the former jockey.

“I have stuck to the same distance (1400m). It’s not easy for a horse to win three in a row.

“He was up in grade but I thought he was a lightweight chance tonight. S John knows the horse very well.

“He showed a good turn of foot at his last two wins and we’ve kept him fresh. I’m happy for the owner and myself.”

Per Inpower has been a good moneyspinner for the Strong Stable, having now brought home more than S$160,000 in stakes from his handy record of four wins, one second and two thirds from 10 starts.

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