Clements' pair just beaten but not bruised
Prosperous Return and Absolute Radiance on song at barrier trials
On a relatively quiet Tuesday morning – with just two trials and 11 horses being sent on their way, trainer Michael Clements produced a pair of aces.
They were Absolute Radiance and Prosperous Return.
So, you say: “Whoa! Hold on a minute. They were not winners.”
True. They both finished second in their respective hit-outs. But there was still plenty to like in the way they went about their business.
Take Absolute Radiance. Here was a galloper yet to face the starter in a race at Kranji.
But he showed that the “education” phase might be nearing an end and that he could be ripe and ready to start paying for his feed and lodging.
Then there was Prosperous Return. Well, we know what he can do.
Five wins from a dozen outings is not something to be sniffed at.
There is plenty of talent in that frame of his and the second half of the season could see him realise that potential.
First off, let us look at Absolute Radiance. Just a three-year-old, the New Zealand-bred showed bright early speed which could hold him in good stead in a short sprint race.
Ridden by Marc Lerner and jumping from the innermost gate, Absolute Radiance soon claimed the lead and took the field to the 600m mark.
He was still well in control when the small field straightened.
The Frenchman had him on a short, tight rein – which seemed to suit him fine. Scrubbed along, the son of Contributer still dictated things at the furlong mark but soon began to feel the pinch.
Fadaboy, ridden by apprentice Hakim Kamaruddin, never gave up the chase. He collared the leader close home to squeeze out victory by a head.
It was a good showing by the winner who clocked 61.43sec for the 1,000m. But it did look like Absolute Radiance had more to offer – if, indeed, Lerner wanted him to go.
Perhaps, the connections were saving something for Sunday when the New Zealand-bred will make his Kranji debut.
Absolute Radiance has been entered for the Restricted Maiden event for three and four-year-olds.
He faces two talented youngsters in Charminton and Sousui. Both did well on their debuts, running second and third in separate races.
They might have the experience but both came from off the pace. If Absolute Radiance opens up to a big lead, they might not catch him over the short course on Sunday.
Clements saddled the quinella in the second and final trial of the morning, with Hamama winning it in 61.02sec and Prosperous Return coming home to take second, half a length in arrears.
In that hit-out, which was run under threatening skies, Lord Of Cloud showed the way but waved the white flag at the 700m mark.
It allowed Hamama – always prominent with that huge white blaze – to wrest the lead with Prosperous Return in the chasing pack.
Nearing the final turn, Ronnie Stewart decided to give Prosperous Return a clear run to the line.
So he took him widest of the pack and, from that scenic spot, the four-year-old fashioned a run.
It took Prosperous Return close to the lead. But it was not close enough. Hamama was home and hosed by ½ length.
Still, and for all of the extra ground which he covered, it was a big showing by the runner-up.
Clements has been patient with his youngster. Sparingly raced, he has faced the starter just once this season. That was in late February and it was a winning show.
It, however, came at a price. Prosperous Return bled.
He passed a bleeders’ test earlier this month and it looks like the path is cleared for the galloper to resume from where he left off.