Ravalli revels in sit-and-wait race, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Ravalli revels in sit-and-wait race

New Jig Racing import steps up from debut second with resounding first Kranji victory

As widely predicted by the majority of pundits and racegoers alike, hot favourite Ravalli duly went one better at his second Kranji start.

Backed down to $18 favouritism at his debut in a Novice race (1,200m) on Kranji Mile day on May 18, the much-hyped newcomer was all but home and hosed under visiting jockey Mark Zahra, only for Hole In One to rain on his parade.

After such a laudable run, he went off at even skinnier odds second-up in the $50,000 Class 4 race (1,200m) on June 16.

Even if he had not got off to a flier, he had franked the favourable impression left from his eye-catching barrier trials, not to mention his Australian record of one win at Echuca (1,100m) from only three starts.

Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons would not fall into the trap of complacency, though.

The Australian left no stone unturned right up to the leg-up he gave jockey Ryan Curatolo at the mounting yard.

“That first run has brought him on for sure. He had worked really well and we just had to make sure everything went right on the day,” said the 2022 Singapore champion trainer.

“I told Ryan he had to be super patient and to let the others go. I told him to get a suck-up for as long as he could.

“Ryan rode him beautifully.”

The French jockey, who has forged a mini alliance with Fitzsimmons in the last four months, followed the instructions to the letter with a textbook stalking ride.

As Stop The Water (Bruno Queiroz) and Rubik Kid (Krisna Thangamani) went hogging the early sections of the race, Curatolo took the drop on the leading duo.

With the rest of the seven-horse field strung out, the concluding stages looked almost scripted.

As Ravalli got cuddled into the firing line three wide, Rubik Kid had already abdicated, and Stop The Water was flat to the boards.

Curatolo took his sweet time before giving the $8 favourite the final cue at the 200m mark. The Ilovethiscity three-year-old immediately powered down the straight to beat Stop The Water by ½-length.

Rubik Kid lost no marks at his second Class 4 contest, finishing third another length away. The winning time was 1min 09.17sec for the 1,200m on the short course.

Fitzsimmons was still keeping a lid on a first winning act that came in a field of six runners.

“It was a small field, but it was still a good effort,” he said.

“I’ll look for a nice race on the programme for him.

“He’ll get 12-14 (1,200m to 1,400m) but there is no rush to get him up in distance.

“It’s another good one bought by the Jig Racing, Legacy Power Racing and Josh McLoughlan. Big thanks also to the team when I was away back home in Australia.”

Australian bloodstock agent McLoughlan is a well-known syndicate racing manager who made his first foray into the Singapore market with the Premier Racing Partnerships in 2014, with horses mostly trained by Steven Burridge.

Among his best acquisitions of the time were Jay Eff Express and Xzuberance, before he branched out with Elite Performance Stable and Forever Lucky Stables to unearth handy sorts like Elite Excalibur and Baffert.

Other than Ravalli, he looks after the interests of Jig Racing and Elvin Racing with horses such as stable banner Golden Monkey, Mt Niseko, Diaz, Tommy Gun as well as Lightning Strike.

Curatolo said he was chuckling to himself the moment the race panned out exactly as per the script Fitzsimmons and him had devised for Ravalli.

“He can be full of beans. Tim told me not to push him too hard at the start and let him do as he pleased,” he said.

“I knew Rubik Kid and Stop The Water would lead and I just parked my horse right behind with a nice cover. It was looking very good.

“When I asked him for a change of gears inside the last 300m, he did it very well.

“I think he’s a horse who’s got a nice future here.”

The relatively new partnership combined four more times during the day, but without the same success.

Golden Monkey, was arguably their best chance, but a cheeky front-running ride from Manoel Nunes on Ghalib in the Kranji Stakes A race over 1,400m relegated them to second place.