By Sharon Zhang, Singapore Turf Club
Connections’ effort to have Mariana Trench come off the pace paid off in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race (1600m) on Sunday.
After settling in a position worse than midfield behind Cash Cheque (Saifudin Ismail), the three-year-old son of Kermadec swung out six-wide under jockey Vlad Duric to make his final assault in the homestraight.
Race favourite Dragon Tycoon (Blake Shinn) overtook the leader Liebestraum (Wong Chin Cheun) at the 350m after trailing behind for most part of the journey, but he did not pull away from the rest as expected.
On the outside, Mariana Trench ($17) made up ground under Duric’s urgings before posting an easy two-and-a-half-length victory from runner-up, Street Of Dreams (Mohd Zaki).
Dragon Tycoon finished another three-and-one-quarter length away in third. The winning time was 1min 35.39secs over the mile on the Long Course.
Assistant-trainer Michael White, also known as ‘Chopsy’, was quick to point out that the quiet tactics was the key to Mariana Trench’s first career win.
“He’s always been a horse with a huge amount of talent, but probably took a bit longer than we would have thought (for him to win),” said White, deputising for trainer Michael Clements at the winner’s circle.
“We always wanted to ride him behind and we were pretty disappointed with the way he was ridden at his last start (third to Trident in a similar race over 1400m on July 9).
“He’s a lot closer to the speed than we would have liked, that’s why we stressed to Vlad that we wanted to ride him quiet. He gave him a 10-out-of-10 ride, so he (Mariana Trench) got his first win.
“(Bloodstock agent) Peter Twomey of Wattle Bloodstock bought him at the Inglis 2020 Classic Yearling Sale for A$105,000 for the Tivic Stable.
“Previously, he also bought other good horses like (the late) Bold Thruster and Prosperous Return for them. It’s good for the owners.”
Duric agreed that coming from behind was the telling factor on Sunday.
“On his form and the way he was ridden, he looked a bit one-paced, so it’s a good call by Michael (Clements) and ‘Chopsy’ to ride him quiet,” said the Australian hoop of Mariana Trench, who will turn four on Monday (August 1) as with all other three-year-old Southern hemisphere-breds.
“He relaxed very well today and quickened up nicely, but was very green when he got to the front.
“But he’s still a young horse and he will get better with more racing experience.
“I was just the one who rode him and got the job done.”
The four-time Singapore champion jockey went on to pick up a double after the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained In All His Glory ($16) shot clear to a soft win in the $50,000 Class 4 race (1600m) five races later.
With that first win and two placings in seven starts, Mariana Trench, named after the deepest oceanic trench on Earth, has earned over $60,000 in prizemoney for the Tivic Stable.