Red Dawn was yet another horse to take advantage of the new class ratings bands after he bounced back to the winner’s circle in Singapore on Friday night for the first time in exactly two years.
The seven-year-old son of Align had not greeted the judge since the last of his previous six wins recorded in Class 3 company on April 21, 2017.
What ensued in 22 subsequent starts for the Auric Stable-owned galloper was a case of being a game trier in the mid-70s region, but that elusive next win in such company just proved to be a touch harder to engineer.
Then came the class adjustments where Class 4 races now encompass horses up to 67-point raters.
Having slipped down the ratings to 65 points, Red Dawn qualified and with the astute coupling of a four-kilo claimer (and a good one at that) to take some load off the 59kgs impost, it was jackpot at the very first try.
Lined up in the S$50,000 Class 4 Division 4 race over 1100m, the $25 chance was ridden to perfection by new kid on the block Riduan Abu Bakar.
Taking a drop off the early pace set by Uncle Lucky (Ben Thompson), Red Dawn went for the shortcuts home upon cornering. After a brief tussle with Big Elephant (Chan Wei Sheng), Red Dawn gained the ascendancy with every stride as Riduan got stuck into him.
Favourite My Big Boss (Daniel Moor) homed in late but his dash was not sharp enough to topple Red Dawn, with three-quarter length the margin between the two at the wire. David’s Sling (Benny Woodworth) ran third another two lengths away. The winning time was 1min 5.77secs.
“These new benchmark races are good. He came down in his grades, he has to carry weight, but it gives those boys a chance,” said Baertschiger.
“I told the kid to ride him quiet, but the horse took off on him. He still did a great job on the horse.
“I actually told him it was my best chance today and he should be a winner for him. He rides really well that kid.
“I liked the way he rode at his first meetings last week. He is strong and he’s got experience.”
The kid from Kelantan booted home 13 winners while honing his craft in New Zealand under the Te Akau and Jamie Richards tutelage, and has taken only three meetings to pad up that score to 17 winners already. He rode one winner apiece at his first Kranji weekend – Venus De Milo (Friday, April 12) and Ka Chance (Sunday, April 14), and he later brought up another double on Chocolats (also trained by Baertschiger) in the Lucky Last.
“He’s a really good horse. I enjoyed that ride,” said Riduan.
“Thank you to the trainer who has given me a lot of rides today.” -STC