More wins in store for Red Ocean
The Clements-trained Prodigal also strides out impressively at the Kranji training track
Four wins from nine starts. You cannot ask for anything better from a first- season galloper.
Or, for that matter, any racehorse.
Well, those are the credentials Red Ocean brings into the Class 3 sprint over the 1,400m on Saturday.
If he holds up his side of the bargain, he will be hard to catch.
To lift his stock even further, Red Ocean was one of the star performers on the training track yesterday morning.
With Matthew Kellady in the saddle, the son of Ocean Park breezed over the 600m in 39.1sec.
It was a dominant piece of work and it would have pleased his connections who, so far, must surely have no complaints with what their boy has done on the racetrack.
Red Ocean arrived at Kranji at the tailend of the 2020 season and settled in nicely.
Shane Baertschiger, his trainer from Day One, was patient with the then-three-year-old gelding and it was only after a couple of trials that he eased his charge into a race.
It was a baptism of fire – and Red Ocean was burnt to a crisp. In that race over the 1,200m, Red Ocean finished last in a field of 14.
Undaunted, Baertschiger sent him back to the trials. He won that hit-out, beating Sugar Rush in a head-bobber.
He continued to improve and, two starts later, he began paying for his board and lodging when finishing fourth in a Restricted Maiden race over the 1,400m.
Although beaten by many lengths, his connections must have taken positive signs from that outing.
At his next start, they sent him off as the $35 third favourite. He did not have the brightest of passages in that 1,400m sprint. But there was enough in the tank and Red Ocean went on to win the race, beating Con Speranza by half a length.
He must have liked that winning feeling because, the next time, he toyed with his rivals and gave them a galloping lesson, winning that “Novice” event by three lengths.
That was in July and Red Ocean had truly arrived.
Danny Beasley had been the jockey on both those wins. He would make that three on the trot when, in November, Red Ocean stamped his authority on his rivals, winning a Class 4 race by over five lengths.
The break from racing saw Baertschiger send Red Ocean back to the trials. He won his last one and then, at his last outing less than a fortnight ago, he led all the way over the mile.
That day, Kellady was on the reins and it looks likely that the Baertschiger stable jockey will want to guard that seat jealously.
And why not? From what we have seen of Red Ocean, he is a star in the making and, for him, the season has just begun.
Also impressive on the training track was Prodigal.
A fine-looking chestnut, he was never off the bit when running the 600m in 38.1sec. Shafrizal Saleh did the steering.
Prepared for the races by Michael Clements, Prodigal is a one-time winner from six starts. He scored at the second time of asking.
That was in May and he beat Golden Sprint in a 1,400m race on grass.
From then until now, he has had four trials and, the last time, he raced home after having a ragged passage to take fourth in that race won by First Chief.
He was expected to improve at his next outing – which was supposed to be at the meeting just concluded.
But he was a reserve and he never did get to start.
It must have been disappointing for his connections.
But Clements has kept him ticking over nicely and yesterday’s workout would have ensured that he holds form going into Saturday’s action.