Racing

Soonbaby toys with his rivals

Trainer Daniel Meagher's newcomer wins in slick time as an unraced horse

Trainer Daniel Meagher's newcomer SOONBABY opened as the favourite from the first bell and ran like one in Race 2 at Kranji last night.

Winning jockey Danny Beasley labelled the three-year-old a nice horse with a good turn of foot after his mount's easy half-length victory over stablemate Silver Sky in the Initiation event over the flying 1,000m on the Polytrack.

The other thumbs-up was the winning time - 58.88sec - which was pretty noteworthy for a young newcomer as it was just 1.12sec outside Northern Lion's 2011 record. This augurs well for Soonbaby's future.

A half-brother to three-time winner Euro Zone (same dam Wahaha), Soonbaby tracked Happy Daz in the race. Then came Jango and Silver Sky. Meagher's third runner, Zolved, was a backmaker and eventually ran last of nine runners.

Happy Dayz, who was donning blinkers for the first time, led into the straight, hounded by Soonbaby on his outside and Jango on his inside.

When asked by Beasley in the final 300m, Soonbaby responded with big-bounding strides and cruised past the tiring Happy Dayz very easily.

Stablemate Silver Sky put in an eye-catching run late to finish second by half a length.

"He's a big boy, he's got big strides and he's got a good turn of foot, so quite nice," said Beasley of Soonbaby, who paid $13 for a win.

"Quite pretty uncomplicated. He came out a touch slow, which he has done in his trials, and then he sort of just tracked the leader really comfortably."

Soonbaby has been an interesting horse on the local scene.

It sure took him a long time to make his debut last night.

He arrived on Feb 28 last year but relocated to Kuala Lumpur, where he had two trials under trainer Anna Scott, before returning to Singapore through Scott's recomendation.

In three trials at Kranji, Soonbaby showed promise with two unextended seconds, which was probably the reason why the smart money poured in.