By Michael Lee – STC
After his early riding treble, Glen Boss went on to score a fourth win aboard Calculation ($19) in the $70,000 Class 3 Division 2 race over 1100m (updated after Race 10).
Top jockey Glen Boss could do no wrong in the first three races on Sunday, claiming all of them one after another.
The Australian rider kicked off the rout with $77 outsider Big Regards for Saimee Jumaat in the $30,000 Class 5 race over 1600m. With no booking in the second race, Boss would have watched it from the jockeys’ room, but a late call-up from Lee Freedman to ride Tigress ($17) in the $20,000 Open Maiden race over 1600m after Troy See could not make the 54.5kgs weight, saw him back in the winner’s circle.
And one race later, the hat-trick of wins was in the bag after the Australian Hall of Fame jockey recombined successfully with Circuit Mission (who scored with Callan Murray at his last start) in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1800m.
Boss was the one who steered the Hong Kong-owned Irish-bred High Chaparral four-year-old to his first Kranji win two runs back in a Class 3 race over 1400m on April 5.
Circuit Mission is a local entry for the upcoming Invitational Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 25, but Freedman has already mapped out a path towards the race the two-time UK winner had been brought for in the first place, the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) on July 21.
“It’s been a hectic few weeks to build up his ratings points. He won’t run until June – so the Kranji Mile is out,” said Freedman.
“I would have run him if there was no Derby, but the Derby is his main target. I may give him one more run until then, maybe the Stewards’ Cup, but we’ll see.”
Originally slated as the first Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup is now the second Leg. It has also been lengthened up from 1400m to 1600m, and will be run on June 30.
The first Leg is the newly-created Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) on June 9 while the third and last Leg remains the Derby.
Freedman said leading was not part of the riding instructions for Circuit Mission, but when he saw his ward surprisingly pulling Boss’s arms off down the back, he was glad to see him roll to the front.
“He was very keen; I have no idea where this came from. It wasn’t the plan to lead,” said Freedman.
“At his last start, he settled beautifully for Callan, and I thought it’d be his undoing today.
“So I was quite happy to see Boss let him go forward, and he ran away from them in the end.”
Boss said that the Ngo Tai Tak-owned gelding had his quirks, but still had a motor that could give him the horsepower for a shot at the Derby.
“He’s a real tricky horse, as it’s been well-documented. The plan was to sit off the lead, but I tried to do that for two and a half furlongs.
“It’s only when I let him go to the front that he started to stride comfortably. He will keep on improving, and I see no reason why he can’t go to the Derby.”
Many thought Circuit Mission’s ($19) time in the lead would be shortlived after he matched motors on the outside of stablemate Lionrockspirit (Juan Paul van der Merwe) down the backstraight.
Even after he assumed total control after 500m, there was a worry he would be softened up by the speed battle, and would falter.
Those fears were quickly allayed. Though he looked unsteady when he shot clear at the 300m, he kept forging ahead to eventually beat Dicton (Ben Thompson) by 2 ¼ lengths.
What’s New (Wong Chin Chuen) did loom up on the outside but could not quite bridge the gap to run third another half-length away. The winning time was 1min 46.73secs for the 1800m on the Long Course.