Very Special Santino Success

Date: 12 Mar 2024

Very Special Santino Success

It was a very special win by a horse who almost lost his life a year ago - he was nursed back with love and care and to see the result on Saturday brought a tear to our eyes ... the Singapore Turf Club reports ...

Jockey Carlos Henrique opened his account in Singapore after Santino stormed home for an emphatic win in the $30,000 I’m Incredible 2019 Stakes, a Class 5 Division 1 race (1000m) on Saturday.

Formerly based in Qatar, the Brazilian hoop placed thrice in seven starts at his first Kranji meeting last Saturday but was quick to show his wares aboard his eight ride, albeit the first for trainer Donna Logan.

Sent out at $19, Santino was tucked in midfield, outside of stablemate Super Posh (Yusoff Fadzli) while Blackbuck (Clyde Leck) led the field of 11 upfront.

Into the straight, $12 favourite Grand Supreme (Manoel Nunes) could not muster an acceleration on the rails but Pacific Angel (Vlad Duric) loomed fast and looked the winner a few strides from the post.

Henrique, who had to switch Santino off the heels of Pacific Angel, got busy at the 200m where he unleashed a blistering turn of foot to eventually pip Pacific Angel for a neck-win.

Blackbuck held on and finished another one-and-a-quarter lengths away in third. The winning time was a quick 58.75secs for the 1000m on the Polytrack.

Already a winner of more than 300 races in Brazil, India, Germany, Bahrain and Qatar in his 14 years of riding, Henrique was pleased it did not take long to get on the board in the Lion City.

“Donna approached me for this ride and gave me my first winner in Singapore,” he said.

“I’ve got one second, two thirds and two fourths last week. I’ve also been successful in other countries before, so I expected the win to come soon (in Singapore).

“Thanks to Donna and also (trainer) Ricardo (Le Grange), who gave me all my rides last week. He supports me a lot and was very happy for my win too.

“We expected a good run and he (Santino) gave me the best ride. Our plan was to put him in midfield so he can come home strongly, and he did. Everything worked out well.

“The 1000m was the prefect trip for him. He was on the bridle, travelled really nicely and worked home strongly in the end.

“I’m happy I’ve another checklist ticked off!”

That smile on Henrique’s face only grew wider after he pulled off a double as Bestseller ($48) took out the $110,000 Group 3 Committee’s Prize (1600m) 10 races later (see later report).

While Henrique was simply delighted with Santino’s maiden win, that first-up win from the Santos three-year-old was almost unimaginable for his New Zealand handler.

After running third at his second start last July, Santino met with a freak accident and almost lost his life but survived the ordeal and bounced back eight months later.

“He’s a miracle horse,” said Logan of her sixth winner this year.

“He flipped upside down into a ditch (behind the tie-up stall), sliced through his off-fore tendon and vets said they don’t think they could save him.

“He didn’t have any surgery but we gave him antibiotics and box-rested him.

“This is his first race back and I said to the owners to treat this as a trial because we need to get his confidence back after he came back from that huge injury. We weren’t 100% certain he would win but he won on sheer ability.

“We’ll take him quietly through the races because it’s just a huge effort from him to come back and win.

“Carlos suits this horse. He’s a nice, patient and talented rider. He’s ridden him in trackwork this week (on Tuesday). Maybe more rides for him!”

With that first win in three starts, Santino has taken his earnings to over $26,000 for the Te Akau Racing Stable.


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