Big Hearted survives objection
Debut winner beats newcomer Rocket Star by a short head in $75,000 Inglis Ready2Race Sale Stakes
Trainer Michael Clements has had so many successes with his young blood and his juvenile galloper Big Hearted is surely a horse destined to go far.
The debut winner on the Polytrack 1,100m on April 26 proved that he was a horse of the future on Sunday, when he overcame the dreaded second-run syndrome to take the first leg of the five-race Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series for two-year-olds.
Although it was a tough ask stepping up, especially within only three weeks for a juvenile, Big Hearted produced a tremendous burst at the top of the straight to capture the $75,000 Inglis Ready2Race Sale Stakes over the Poly 1,000m.
Victory was close. Big Hearted staved off the rocketing Rocket Star by a short head. He then survived an objection by the rider of the runner-up for alleged interference at about the 400m mark.
His triumph - against 11 newcomers, some with good trial form - was full of merit.
First, he started from the widest draw and, mind you, he was the second-last to leave the stalls.
Second, the Falcon Racing No. 7 Stable-owned Australian-bred was trapped wide for most of the way, covering excessive ground.
Third, the way he spurted when asked by jockey Vlad Duric turning into the straight was spell-binding, as if the others were standing still.
There was a keen tussle for the lead. Win Easy then got slightly ahead, with Yakety Yak covering him on the outside. Win Mak Mak was sandwiched in between. Then came Emperor Taizong, Gold Rush and Rocket Star. Big Hearted was in the rear bunch and very wide.
Win Easy straightened up first from Yakety Yak but, whoosh, Duric suddenly brought Big Hearted up menacingly and hit the front in a trice.
The bay gelding looked headed for a big win when Rocket Star fired away under jockey Callan Murray to reduce the lead with every stride.
But it was all too late. The winning post came so near yet so far. It was, however, a top effort by the Ricardo Le Grange-trained horse to come within just a short head of the winner.
The Shane Baertschiger-trained and Matthew Kellady-ridden Charming Diamond was third, 13/4 lengths away.
Clements' deputy, Michael White, reckoned it was a splendid effort by Big Hearted to win the way he did.
"Terrific win, couldn't have done more wrong. It showed the horse is class to do so many things wrong, covers so much ground and then fought off obviously another nice horse in second, so he's really a nice horse in the making," he said.
"Obviously, he cut a lot of ground and did a lot of work, so he was going to be vulnerable late. Look, he always has got a lot of raw talent. We'll probably give him a short freshen-up now, probably to focus on the later couple of two-year-old races on the turf.
"Hopefully, we can draw a barrier with him, so we can just sit on him and perhaps come on the outside. He's a really promising horse, especially I said like when you can ride him patiently."
Duric felt it was "a massive effort considering he was hanging out the whole way through".
"I rode him forward and the long run helped him," said the two-time Singapore champion. "He got a bit tired late, but he's got a real will to win. He will be even better over 1,200m."
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