Local trainer David Kok described the victory of Well Done (NZ) (Falkirk) in Sunday’s $500,000 Group One Patron’s Bowl (1600m) as “the best day in his trainer’s career”.
The Singaporean handler, who is in only his eighth season, could barely hide his emotions when he was asked to compare that second Group One triumph with his very first one, Cash Luck (Bradbury’s Luck) in the Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m) in 2013.
Though both will go down as the ultimate prize any trainer can dream of, Well Done’s Group One win had that distinct taste of “ownership” that Cash Luck did not quite have.
Kok took over Cash Luck from Michael Freedman and just developed him further while he has fashioned Well Done into what he is from the first day he walked into his yard as a very green unraced gelding, purchased by his equally inexperienced owner Jason Goh from the 2013 edition of New Zealand Bloodstock’s annual Ready To Run Sale of two-yearolds for $90,000.
“This is my best day in the office. Of course Cash Luck’s Kranji Mile meant a lot to me as it was my first Group One win but this one is even more special because I had Well Done right from the start,” said Kok. “We started from zero and I still remember his first race when he just went off the track with Ivaldo Santana. He was still unlucky at his next runs, but when he won his first race, I knew he would become a very good horse for us.
“I’ve long aimed for the Derby with him. We knew the first Leg (Stewards’ Cup over 1400m) was too short for him and the plan was always to target the Patron’s Bowl and the Derby. To be honest, I thought the Patron’s Bowl would be an ideal prep run to the Derby but he’s done better and won it.
“It’s great for Jason who has been very patient with this horse. He hand-picked this horse himself at the sale and though the beginning was tough, he was very patient and now he has a Group One winner.”
Kok did not fail to highlight the major contribution of one man who seems to be cutting a swathe since his arrival at the end of March – jockey Glen Boss.
“Glen called me for the ride. Manoel Nunes (previous regular partner) was committed to Titanium and we had to get a strong rider and you can’t get any better than Bossy,” said Kok, clearly now one of the No 1 fans of the 2010 Longines Singapore Gold Cup-winning rider (Risky Business). It was the perfect ride from Glen. He really is a top jockey.”
With his sixth win, Well Done has now taken his record to six wins and five placings from 16 starts for stakes earnings that have now shot past the half-a-million mark for Goh.