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Supersub Amirul makes no mistake on Elite Power
Michael Lee

English import Elite Power stamped his class to post an authoritative win in the $70,000 Kranji Stakes C Division 1 race over 1000m on Sunday.


While trainer Mark Walker had always been mindful of not overtaxing the Sakhee’s Secret five-year-old with the memory of an early bleeding attack still vivid in the Kiwi handler’s mind, his record of two wins, five seconds and three thirds in 11 Kranji starts prior to Sunday is testament to Walker’s ability to handle such fragile customers with care.


Even after Elite Power scored at his last start in a Class 3 1000m race, that early setback still needled the horseman. 

Elite Power (Amirul Ismadi, on the outside) wears down Mokastar (Michael Rodd) in the Kranji Stakes C
Division 1 race.

And when last-start winning partner Noh Senari was stood down earlier in the day, it was an extra source of anxiety he could have done without.


But Walker needn’t have worried. Stephen Gray’s apprentice jockey Amirul Ismadi stepped up to the plate and proved to be an apt substitute, delivering a supremely confident ride aboard Elite Power to land the spoils.


Above all, the horse has an engine that hit all the right spots on Sunday.


Upon straightening, things did look a little touch-and-go for the $15 favourite when Mokastar (Michael Rodd) went for broke and pinched two lengths while he just about saw daylight.


However, thanks to a 10-out-of-10 handling from Amirul, Elite Power settled down for a good go inside the last furlong to run the leader down at the 100m before comfortably putting the race away.


In the end, Elite Power had one length to spare from a gallant Mokastar with Golden Flame (Ben Thompson) plugging away in third place another two lengths away. The winning time was 59.44 seconds for the 1000m on the Polytrack.


“It’s a horse who had some bad luck at his second run. Unfortunately, he bled really bad,” said Walker.


“Thanks to Dr Dan Shaw, he came back after he worked out a very good programme for him. I just had to space his runs.


“I guess he’ll now have to go on turf to show what he can do. He took a while to acclimatise, hopefully it’s onwards and upwards now.”


As the usual huge Elite Performance Stable fan club – some clad in the navy blue stable colours with the “Victorious With Horsey” slogan printed – gathered around Elite Power at the winner’s stall, Walker did not fail to thank the connections for another handy sort they have sent him after 2018 Singapore Gold Cup winner Elite Invincible.


“A big thank you to Elite Performance Stable and Sennett Ho who have done a great job buying quality horses and bringing new people into the game,” he said.


“As you can see, there are so many of them I cannot remember everyone’s name, but that’s what racing should be all about.”


While acknowledging Noh should have been the one at the winner’s rostrum, Amirul was grateful for the golden opportunity that had fallen on his lap, especially as it was his first hurrah for Walker.


“I’m just lucky to be replacing Noh. The horse is an easy sit-and-steer horse to ride,” said the Ipoh-born son of former jockey Ismadi Ismail (now a trainer) and nephew of Kranji-based veteran jockey Azhar Ismail.


“I had plenty of horse underneath me and I was quite confident he would gun down the leader.


“It was actually not a bad field at all, very competitive, and Mokastar is not an easy horse to run down, but my horse gave a nice acceleration in the last 100m.


“I’m happy for the owners and for Mark Walker. I believe that is only my second ride for him, and that’s my first winner for him now.”


With that third win in Singapore, Elite Power has now equalled his haul in Britain where he raced as Wick Powell and was trained in North Yorkshire by David Barron. All-up, his local stakes earnings have now hit around the $210,000 mark, edging closer to the US$237,237 he made in England.


Amirul did not turn supersub on just Elite Power. Booked to replace Noh on another one of his strong chances, Wolf Warrior ($66) in the last race, the other $70,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1000m (Division 2 race) of the day, Amirul again showed connections they had been right in picking him.


He had to really bring his A-game this time as favourite Nova Vocal (Michael Rodd) looked to have the race in his keeping when he tore his way down the middle of the track at the 250m.


But lifting Wolf Warrior for a late dash on the inside of Nova Vocal, Amirul was able to turn the tables around. With marksman precision, he timed his run such that he got a head splitting the pair at the wire. Sacred Rebel (Benny Woodworth) ran third over a length astern. The winning time was 59.32 seconds for the 1000m dash.