By Michael Lee – STC
After discussing with the Tivic Stable, trainer Shane Baertschiger has decided to change aim for recent Group 3 JBBA Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) winner Bold Thruster.
Conventional wisdom would have the second Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge (of which the Sprint is the first Leg) over 1400m on May 3 as the next target for the son of Turffontein.
Baertschiger didn’t really confirm neither did he rule out that option shortly after Bold Thruster beat Top Knight by a short head in the Sprint on Friday night.
Two days later, he had, however, all but made up his mind Bold Thruster would be switched to the Group 3 Rocket Man Sprint (1200m) on May 5 instead. After a quick powwow with Tivic’s Thomas Loke and Jason Goh, the handicap race was locked away as Bold Thruster’s next start.
“The (Group 1) Lion City Cup (over 1200m on May 25) was always his goal. If he had gone to the Classic, it would have been 1200m to 1400m and then back to 1200m – we didn’t want that for him,” said Baertschiger.
“The (Group 1) Singapore Guineas (on May 25) was never an option either, as he is not ready for the mile.
“The Rocket Man Sprint will suit him better and will be an ideal lead-up to the Lion City Cup.”
Baertschiger said Bold Thruster has recovered from his hard-fought win in the Sprint very well, even if it was end-to-end stuff.
“He’s pulled up good. He’s eating well, and all’s well with him,” he said.
“He will actually come on from that first run.”
Bold Thruster is no doubt the star at the stable, but if there is another pet horse coming through the ranks, it has to be Japanese seven-year-old entire Mikki Joy.
A winner at his last two Kranji starts over 1600m and 1800 respectively, the five-time Japan winner (all over the mile) will next run in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1600m on Sunday, but on Polytrack, though.
Baertschiger is not worried about that first Kranji test on the All-Weather as the son of Deep Impact did win on a similar surface in Tokyo.
“He’s back to the mile but on Polytrack. It’s okay as he did win on the dirt in Japan,” said Baertschiger.
“He’s in good shape. He’s trained on after his last win and trialled good last Thursday (close fourth to noted speedster Yulong Xiongyin).
“I have the (Group 3) Moonbeam Vase (May 5) over 1600m and the (Group 1) Kranji Mile (May 25) also over 1600m in mind for him, but it all depends how he runs this Sunday.”
Baertschiger also saddles old stalwart Blue Swede in the Class 2 race. Probably at the twilight of his racing career, the eight-year-old son of O’Reilly will be at his 46th start and is unlikely to be tipped by many to make it win No 9, but his first-up run in a Class 2 race over 1400m on March 17 was not without merit.
Dawdling at the back as is his customary style, Blue Swede, who had Matthew Kellady up, made late ground to run seventh, only three and a half lengths off Eye Guy.
“It was the first time Blue Swede had run in Class 2 for a long time. He ran on good,” said Baertschiger.
“He has come on nicely from that, and trialled well last Thursday (same trial as Mikki Joy, running seventh). Michael Rodd will ride him for the first time.”