Yabadabadoo shows fighting spirit
Clements' newbie overtaken by favourite Sattar but claws back to victory
A brilliant ride from jockey Derreck David saw debuting two-year-old YABADABADOO turn the tables on short-priced favourite Sattar to land the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over the Polytrack 1,100m at Kranji on Sunday.
The South African jockey was jumping on the son of Makfi for the first time, but had together with trainer Michael Clements, devised a simple strategy - use the New Zealand-bred gelding's early gate speed to come across from his outermost alley (12) and ride him for luck from there.
Half the battle was won after Yabadabadoo was able to achieve that first objective without much fuss.
But, if there were to be a nemesis to the plan, it would probably be odds-on favourite and fellow newcomer Sattar (Oscar Chavez).
The two-time barrier trial winner also showed an abundance of speed from his barrier No. 6 to settle on the girth of Yabadabadoo.
Upon straightening, Sattar was throttled up into overdrive, easily drawing on level terms with Yabadabadoo, before inexorably edging past at the 200m mark.
At that stage, the win looked a foregone conclusion for the top fancy. Those few pennies that Yabadabadoo spent to cut across early doors, were probably being sorely missed.
He's obviously a pretty smart horse and it's good to have another one after Countofmonte-cristo, Tannhauser and Chopin's Fantaisie.Trainer Michael Clements
But, just like the cartoon character he is named after, Fred of the Flintstones, Yabadabadoo would not get rolled so easily.
With David riding for dear life, he came launching again with another crack on the rails and, with Sattar unable to pull away, the game chestnut poked his head back in front - and that was where it stayed all the way to the line.
The official margin was a short head. The winning time was 1min 04.57sec.
Super Power (Barend Vorster) ran third, four-and-a-quarter lengths away.
Clements said Yabadabadoo had displayed ability from Day 1, but a few issues curtailed his original plan to head him towards Sunday's Group 3 Juvenile Championship (1,400m).
"He showed ability when he came to us, but he got shinsore," said the Zimbabwean-born handler.
"He didn't have the greatest preparation, we had to give him a lot of swimming. That was why we skipped the Juvenile next week and went with this softer option instead.
"I don't usually give my horses a qualifying trial (Official Race Trial) in the week they race, but he had his on Tuesday (won by one-and-a-half lengths with Manoel Nunes up).
"He's obviously a pretty smart horse and it's good to have another one after Countofmontecristo, Tannhauser and Chopin's Fantaisie."
David dedicated the win to a visiting relative who was unfortunately taken ill and is now recovering at the National University Hospital.
"I'd like to dedicate that win to my Auntie Amanda who is currently in NUH and pulling through," said the lightweight jockey.
"I've never sat on this horse before. It was Chopsy (assistant-trainer Michael White) who called me for the ride as he had only 50kg.
"Michael and Chopsy had full confidence in this horse. He's still a big baby and immature, but he definitely has a lot of ability.
"The only danger was Oscar's horse who was drawn better than us. I saw his two trials and his workouts, and they were phenomenal.
"When he took three-quarter lengths on us, my horse showed a lot of fight to come back and put his head down where it mattered.
"Well done to Michael and Mr Joe Giovanni (owner). They have a nice horse on their hands."
Giovanni, also known as Singh, was certainly proud of his new "baby" and revealed more were on their way from the nursery.
"I bought this one together with three others from the New Zealand sale," said the owner, who made a name for himself with top three-year-olds Gingerbread Man and Countofmontecristo.
"There are a lot more such names up my sleeve, don't worry. There is also Snaggle Puss coming up soon."