Fitzsimmons busy with Barree duo at trials

Shylock (Marc Lerner) prancing around on the way to his barrier trial on Tuesday.

By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Tim Fitzsimmons’ Barree Stable duo of Boomba and Shylock gave their new trainer every reason to be happy at their barrier trials on Tuesday in the lead-up to their impending first 2021 race.

While Boomba is already a proven quantity at Kranji with two wins under trainer Cliff Brown’s polish, including the Group 3 Singapore Golden Horseshoe (1200m) at his last start on December 5, Shylock is a newcomer with the only measuring stick thus far being his lineage and three barrier trials.

The Zacinto three-year-old is a half-brother of Brown’s and Barree’s former champion Debt Collector, being both out of the In The Wings mare Prompt Payment, hence the inspiration from William Shakespeare’s miserly moneylender Shylock in The Merchant Of Venice to stay in the same penny-pinching naming vein.

Shylock will have his first career start in next Saturday’s Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on turf.

With current leading jockey Marc Lerner aboard in Tuesday’s hit-out, Shylock was outpaced early – a little in the style of Debt Collector – and while he did not unleash the same blinding turn of foot in the home straight, he attacked the line quite well, albeit after he was given a few tastes of the persuader before the home turn.

He finished a close-up fourth, about 1 ½ lengths off stablemate Nate’s Champion, also a former Brown ward who had Noh Senari in the irons.

Brown wound up operations this month to return to Australia after 13 successful years in Singapore, with around 20 of his former horses moved to Fitzsimmons, his former assistant-trainer and fellow countryman, now a trainer in his own right at Kranji since 2019.

Brown is taking along eight of his Kranji horses back home, headed by Barree’s new superstar Inferno – who has already settled into the Mornington Peninsula – Bluestone, Threeandfourpence, Solar Eclipse, Trading Post, Centenary Diamond, Kwoi Hoi and Zermatt.

Incidentally, Brown’s assistant-trainer Tony Lane was at the trials at his last day at Kranji, keeping a keen eye on the Barree duo he used to mind. The Queensland native flies back to his hometown next week before a few weeks later heading to Brown’s new training venture in Victoria in the same foreman capacity.

“Marc doesn’t usually ride them so hard in barrier trials, but he told me later the horse got off the bit and he had to give him a few reminders,” said Fitzsimmons, who has hit a rich vein of form, winning the last race on Saturday with Stunning Cat, who was first-up after seven months off, to bring his score to five winners from only 32 starters for a strike rate of 15.6% and a sixth overall position on the log.

“That will teach him not to switch off and to finish off better. I think he’ll become a 1400m to 1600m horse.”

While some might have hoped for some shades of Debt Collector in that first barrier trial, Fitzsimmons, who also had Resurgence (formerly Gnothi Seauton) and Circuit Breaker at the trials, was in no hurry to detect any sibling similarity.

“You can’t really compare him with Debt Collector as he still needs more time, but they’re not entirely dissimilar,” said Fitzsimmons.

“Debt Collector also needed a couple of runs to get going. He had to wait until his fourth start to win his first race.

“I think he (Shylock) still impressed me with his trial today. Another one of Cliff’s, Nate’s Champion won the trial and will run in the same RM race as him.”

Formerly known as Gnothi Seauton, Resurgence (Marc Lerner) heads out to his barrier trial on Tuesday morning.

Noh will keep the ride on the Myboycharlie three-year-old, who has yet to finish in the money in three outings, while no booking has been made for Shylock yet, but Lerner is confirmed on Boomba.

The Showcasing three-year-old’s regular partner Ruan Maia now plies his trade in Hong Kong where he has yet to get off the mark after two meetings.

Unlike his forceful ride on Shylock, Lerner never gave Boomba the wriggle-on in his barrier trial. They just coasted along in midfield before easing down to sixth place more than 11 lengths off the winner Zac Kasa (Vlad Duric), another Brown transfer but who has moved to three-time Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker’s yard.

In pole position to land the Champion 2YO title for 2020, Boomba is being aimed at a Class 4 race over 1200m on March 27 for his racing comeback.

“Boomba was good. I was happy with his trial, he came across in good order,” said Fitzsimmons.

“He just had a quiet trial, he had a good blow and will trial again in two weeks’ time before he runs in a Class 4 race over 1200m at the end of the month.”

Author: iRace