By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Barrier trial form has stacked up nicely in Sunday’s second race with the winner and runner-up being the two star performers at those morning sessions – Tuesday and Our Secret Weapon.
The $75,000 Infantry 2017 Stakes race (1100m) is your typical Restricted Maiden race that is often a Pandora’s box. Only three of the dozen of starters came in with exposed form, but debutants Tuesday and Our Secret Weapon cut away a large chunk of the unknown quantity with their two-from-two barrier trial wins.
And from the start all the way to the line, they were the pair who hogged the action on and off the track – they were also sent out as the first favourite (Our Secret Weapon) and second favourite (Tuesday, $20).
Upon dispatch, the Mark Walker-trained Our Secret Weapon (Hakim Kamaruddin) showed the way, but the Michael Clements-trained Tuesday (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) was equally fleet-footed out of the machine, trailing in second spot right on the leader’s girth.
At the top of the straight, Tuesday ($20) went for broke as he collared Our Secret Weapon for a tussle that turned out to be quite brief.
Whilst still green, Tuesday, a three-year-old colt by Deep Field, scooted clear to go and score a most authoritative win. Our Secret Weapon’s condition gave out inside the last furlong, but the Outreach three-year-old was able to hang on for the second prizemoney cheque by a head from the fast-finishing Almugir (Ryan Munger), one of the three runners with racing experience.
David Kok’s Real Efecto (Benny Woodworth), the other newcomer who came out top of his class in barrier trials with two wins from four, franked that form with a fourth place another 1 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 4.8secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
Clements said Tuesday had been a typical colt at home, but he had already seen the raw diamond in him.
“I bought him as a yearling for the Falcon Stable. He showed good potential at his prep in Australia before he came here,” said Clements.
“He’s always shown a strong bold character, but once you put him to work, he has obliged and has shown good ability, albeit we never pushed him hard.
“As green as he was today, he won a very nice race. We’ll see how he comes through, even if he looks like quite a tough type.
“I would have liked to run him in a Novice race but there is not one coming up soon. I may have to run him in a Class 4 race if he keeps on improving.
“I will definitely set him for the 3YO race at the end of the year, the Aushorse race over 1200m.”
Clements may well have more than Tuesday for that race which was typically a two-year-old feature before COVID-19 turned the order of things in racing on its head. Two races later, the Zimbabwean-born handler snared the other Restricted Maiden event over 1100m, the $75,000 2015 Stepitup Stakes, with $13 shot Mardoona (Shafrizal Saleh).
Despite being caught in no man’s land four wide throughout the trip, the Kuwaiti-owned English-bred three-year-old colt by Dabirsim had some petrol left in the tank inside the concluding stages as he kept pulling plenty to defeat race-leader Strong N Smart (John Sundradas) by three parts of a length with Take A Chance (Ruan Maia) in third beaten by a similar margin.
The winning time was 1min 5.76secs, almost a second slower than Tuesday, but to be fair, Mardoona’s trip was a lot less cruisy. The Kuwaiti owner is Kuala Lumpur-based businessman Fahad Ibrahim Khalid Al-Rashid who already races the likes of So Hi Class (their first winner) and Harbour Approach with Clements.