With a paltry record of one win in 18 starts, Wawasan is not exactly the most willing horse going around at Kranji.
Even when he found the line at his only success in that Open Maiden race last May, he initially looked like he would bolt up, only to just scrape home by a short head from the fast-finishing Dr Kardo.
The formline thereafter, mostly in Class 5 company, had not triggered mad rushes to the betting windows. But, more often than not, he has somehow finished in the money, including at his last start in a 1,000m Polytrack dash a fortnight ago.
Ridden by apprentice jockey Iskandar Rosman, the Jakkalberry five-year-old ran like a winner at the 250m only to be denied by Happy Friday (Troy See) in the concluding stages.
No doubt, Wawasan, which means insight in Malay and is also a university in Malaysia, does not win out of turn, but he seems to have shaken off that immaturity which stunted his progress earlier on.
Furthermore, the fact that the punter’s pal Manoel Nunes takes over in tomorrow’s $30,000 Class 5 race over 1,000m, slated as the last event of the 12-race programme, is a massive pointer to stable confidence in his chances.
Barrier nine is a little sticky, but Nunes has a knack of getting his mounts into a lovely rhythm and momentum even when they settle one off the fence.
Ideally, he drops in a one-out, one-back spot as a bit of cover would greatly enhance his chances. He seems to have only a short sprint, which means he should be turned out loose as late as possible.
Third from the rails would be even better, but unless Nunes weaves some magic, the more likely scenario is somewhere closer off the backs of the early leaders. Hopefully, he can then peel out for his run towards daylight inside the last furlong.
Class 5 races can be a game of musical chairs at times, though. Challenges can come from the most unsuspected corners, but the Donna Logan pair of
Our Secret Weapon (Wong Chin Chuen) and Super Posh (Jake Bayliss) may well be his more imminent dangers.
Our Secret Weapon has not greeted the judge for more than a year – since April 4, 2021 to be exact when he coincidentally pounced late to deny, you guessed it, Wawasan.
Those who believe in cyclical patterns can make such a case for Wawasan, given that defeat by Our Secret Weapon paved the way to his maiden win at his next outing.
If Groundhog Day is not your thing, go for Our Secret Weapon’s stablemate Super Posh. The son of former Singapore champion Super Easy boxed on for third behind Wawasan at that last race won by Happy Friday.
On that solid performance, the three-time winner (all over 1,000m) is expected to be again in the firing line for a long way.
Beer Garden is a more proven quality over turf, but he does have a few placings over the Polytrack.
If he can tuck in for cover from his awkward alley, he may make his presence felt at the business end.