No Fun No Gain showed the benefit of a gelding operation with a second win in as many starts under the new gender in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m on Friday night.
After a debut win last year, the four-year-old son of Pins did not frank that form in all three legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old series.
Trainer Stephen Gray said that No Fun No Gain was all coltish back then, and as much as the owners (Go Go Racing Stable) tried to keep the snip as a last recourse, they finally relented – and it certainly paid off.
“He’s shown a lot early, but had no luck in that couple of 3YO races when he was a colt,” said the New Zealander.
“He was a bit of a bull. He’s Japanese-owned and they don’t like gelding them, but they did in the end as he could be a Group horse later on.
“That’s just the way it is sometimes, anyway. Since we gelded him, he seems to have come right.”
Following an ordinary 10th to Top Knight in the Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m), the New Zealand-bred gelding was straight back to the winner’s circle for champion jockey Vlad Duric in a Class 4 Division 1 race at his comeback race six months on.
On Friday night, No Fun No Gain ($14-favourite) was a tad slow out of the gates, but Rodd was happy to let him settle in fifth on the rails, while noted frontrunner Elise (Tengku Rehaizat) led the pack.
Once he was launched on the outside by Rodd at the 400m, he bounded away to what was in the end a soft win. Lim’s Passion (Beau Mertens) finished three-and-a-half-lengths away in second with Vulcan (Matthew Kellady) another three-and-three-quarter lengths away.
The winning time was 1min 10.12secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.
Gray said that No Fun No Gain’s quick time on the yielding track with a heavy weight on his back all point to a good horse for the future.
“He was carrying 59kg and it was a good field, so I didn’t know what to expect,” said Gray.
“But that was a beautiful ride. They went hard and he just sat behind them.
“I said to Michael before the race, ‘Don’t be in a hurry like the other day, just try and sit’.
“He’s a nice horse, I think he stepped up to the game and did a good job.
“The staff have done a good job when I was away in New Zealand, and he might be my next good horse. We will keep pushing on.”
Rodd, who snared a double on the night when he claimed the $30,000 Class 5 race over 1100m with the Alwin Tan-trained Make U Famous in the opener, mentioned that the pace suited his mount, and he sprinted home rather easily.
“He’s a lovely horse. Since he’s come back from his break, you saw how well he ran with Vlad on him the last time,” said the Australian jockey of his 64th winner this season.
“Tonight, he wasn’t the best out of the gates, but it didn’t really matter much. He just tracked on behind and they set up really well for him.
“We had it easy in the run. I didn’t do much through the run while a lot of the other horses were working hard.
“I set sail for home pretty early. He’s a really nice horse going forth obviously.”
With that fourth win in eight starts, No Fun No Gain has earned more than $130,000 in prizemoney for his connections.