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Dream Alliance awesome at trials

Tim Fitzsimmons’ exciting find from 2022 comes from near-last to win on Thursday

Progressive galloper Dream Alliance should continue his rich vein of form into the new 2023 campaign, if his rousing come-from-behind barrier trial win on Thursday was anything to go by.

Dropped to his customary rear spot, the Into Mischief four-year-old initially gave the impression he would just camp at the back minding his own business right through the 1,000m spin.

But once the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained three-time winner (all at his last three starts) swung into the straight, that competitive streak burst into life.

Even though Manoel Nunes had yet to really test him, he was noticeably warming up to the task as he put in the big bounds out wide.

About 200m from home, Dream Alliance had already made up most of the deficit, but duelling duo War Pride (Wong Chin Chuen) and Qaidoom (Simon Kok) still looked beyond reach.

In one fell swoop, however, the gap melted away as Dream Alliance kept stretching out his massive strides to nail the pair right on the line. He finished ahead of Qaidoom and War Pride, with a short head splitting the trio.

Nunes jumped off with nothing but praise for the Thai-owned gelding after such a thrilling first barrier trial.

“It was his first trial this prep. Tim just told me to put him at the back and let him finish off,” said the four-time Singapore champion jockey.

“I feel he has improved after the break, he will be up to Class 3 now. He responded very quickly even if I didn’t have to ask him much.

“He trialled very well. I’ll leave it to Tim to decide if he needs another one.”

The newly crowned Singapore champion trainer actually felt it was not necessary.

“I was very happy with his trial this morning. He’s pulled up well and I will run him in the Class 3 1,400 next week (Jan 28),” said the Australian.

“If he keeps improving, the Derby is his ultimate goal. Time will tell.”

The Group 1 Singapore Derby (1,800m) is the third and last leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge and will be run on July 23.

Last year, Fitzsimmons had one of the pre-race favourites in Relentless, who eventually came up short against Lim’s Kosciuszko.

The son of Hallowed Crown lost a bit of his sparkle at his subsequent starts, but his trainer put it down to racing fatigue.

The December break seems to have done Relentless a world of good as could be seen at the trials on Thursday, one before Dream Alliance.

He looked spot-on even if Vlad Duric just let him saunter around at the back.

“I’m also very happy with Relentless. He’ll have a more serious trial in two weeks’ time,” said Fitzsimmons.

“He’ll run in the Kranji Stakes A race over 1,400m on Feb 12.”

Stablemate Boomba, with Nunes up, was a lot more industrious in the same trial, albeit more than five lengths off easy winner Be You (Matthew Kellady).

Nunes was pleased no end with the Barree Stable-owned son of Showcasing.

“Boomba trialled very good. The issue with him is that sometimes he doesn’t jump,” said the Brazilian ace.

“He needs to go in last, and blindfolded.

“The gates must open shortly after, or else he jumps slowly.

“That cost him the race at his last start when he ran second to Quarter Back. But today, he jumped beautifully.”

The only other one matching Be You in terms of ease at the trials was, interestingly, a horse who is set down to run this Monday – Tom Cat.

Despite coursing out three deep throughout, the Michael Clements-trained Wandjina six-year-old was simply unbeatable when Duric cut the ribbons in the home straight.

A visitor at the Kranji winner’s circle only twice, Tom Cat runs in the Chinese New Year meeting’s opener, the $30,000 Class 5 Division 1 race over 1,200m and breaks from the second alley for Duric.