Shane happy to take it one day at a time
New Zealand trial winner DAY BY DAY franked that form with a smart debut win for the successful pairing of trainer Shane Baertschiger and Auric Stable on Friday night.
The Danroad three-year-old was quickly snapped up by Baertschiger for Auric's Jerry Sung after he won by just under four lengths at Cambridge last October.
Big and strong, and with a distinctive high head carriage, the bay gelding does draw the attention with his proud demeanour, and he certainly carried that positive impression through to the track first-up at his first barrier trial at Kranji on April 1 when he duly won.
But his second trial did not please Baertschiger as much, even prompting him to put off his debut by one week. Whether that reprieve was beneficial or not is case for conjecture, but Baertschiger was not asking questions and would gladly take the win in Friday's $65,000 Initiation race over 1,200m on the Kranji turf.
"He was a trial winner in New Zealand. The first time he trialled here was very good but I didn't quite like his action at his second trial," said Baertschiger.
"Maybe he was more of a turf horse. Anyway, he was meant to run on Polytrack that week but I scratched him and ran him on turf tonight instead.
"He looked lost halfway down the straight but there is still a lot of improvement left in him and I think he will become quite useful to us."
CARVED UP THE FIELD
In-form jockey John Powell said he thought Day By Day would have carved up the field by the point of turn, but his erratic running action in the home straight did not help his cause.
"He's done everything right in his trackwork and at his trials, but I think he's a better horse on grass and it's worked out well," said Powell.
"He came here with some wrap from New Zealand and he trialled well here as well, but he was just very green tonight.
"I thought he would have won by 10 lengths coming to the home turn, but he lost his legs in the home straight. He changed his legs at least five times but he did enough to get home."
One of the best away from his barrier No 3, Day By Day ($21) pulled his way to the front quite easily before taking the drop on Pure White when David Flores insisted on driving the latter to a clear lead. Travelling relatively comfortably at that juncture, Day By Day looked like he could toy with his rivals anytime he pleased upon cornering, but it was not as straightforward as it first looked.
Switching leads several times when Powell wielded the stick, and galloping with an ungainly high-knee action, Day By Day could not quite put the race to bed as expected.
Favourite ($12) Takeover (Manoel Nunes) was closing in ominously on the outside, but Day By Day finally lifted inside the last 100m to reach the wire with a half-length to spare from Takeover.