Nice treble for birthday boy Michael Clements
What a day it was for trainer Michael Clements on Sunday.
It was the Zimbabwean-born Singaporean's 54th birthday and he celebrated it with three winners - Paletas, a newcomer with a bright future, Resolution and Bold Thruster, the classy galloper out for more silverware.
The treble rounded up Clements' stellar season with 65 winners to be second to Mark Walker (73 winners) in the trainers' premiership table.
It was his best tally since relocating to Singapore in 1998.
While he thinks highly of Restricted Maiden winner Paletas, Clements is eyeing the Group races for Bold Thruster, who scored for him for the first time in four starts.
The Tivic Stable-owned horse won six times, three in Group 3 features, when under trainer Shane Baertschiger.
First-up under Clements, Bold Thruster ran a short head second to stablemate Countofmontecristo in the Group 2 Merlion Trophy over the Polytrack 1,200m in August.
Under a top ride by newly crowned three-time champion jockey Vlad Duric, Bold Thruster beat Skywalk on Sunday by a neck. He erased Skywalk's Poly 1,100m class record by .08sec with his 1min 04.01sec.
"Look, we know, he's a horse with a lot of abilities. He's had a few difficult runs for us," said Clements. "He's been slow out of the barriers, came out a lot better today. We've done a lot of hard work on him to get him to come out of the barriers.
"He's had a couple of really good runs for us, second in the Cup race for us, which he was pretty unlucky. Yeah, he's got a bright future and good to have a win with him ."
Although Bold Thruster has won only over 1,100m and 1,200m, Clement believes the horse could go 1,400m.
"Look, we have always felt that he was a horse that would get seven furlongs eventually. We have sort of toyed with that idea, especially with him being a little slow out of the barriers.
"But look, he's very fast, a lot of ability and definitely there are options going forward."
Duric called Bold Thruster a "funny horse" with "a mind of his own".
"He can rear up, and when the boys get on his tail, he can go down under the front as well, and that was sort of what he did before the start of the race," he said.
"He stirred a couple of the other horses up, but we were very lucky the starter didn't push the button, because I would have come off him probably, you know. So it was a blessing disguise that he broke just fairly and I had in the back of my mind that I wasn't going to dig him too much.
"If he didn't miss that kick, I would just take that chance and just ride the race on him, and it paid off anyway."