Aramco shows his class
Trainer Shane Baertschiger reckons his charge is potentially a Class 1 horse
The trainer Shane Baertschiger-jockey Danny Beasley combination is not such a common sight on Singapore racecards these days, even if, not too long ago, they did enjoy some success, with El Milagro springing to mind as one of their major hits together.
But, with ARAMCO having only 53.5kg on his back in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1,200m on Sunday, they rejoined forces - and to good effect.
Things could have gone pear-shaped at that reunion of sorts, though, when the Australian rider lost his whip at the 300m mark, as the Magic Albert four-year-old was noticeably swooping down on the outside with a dashing run.
With a gaggle of horses still within close range, the loss of the persuader could prove costly in a driving finish.
But Beasley just resorted to good old hands-and-heels riding, which in the end proved as effective an aid, especially when a horse is in full flight.
Aramco hit the lead on the outside at the 200m mark and looked like he would round up the field quite easily after all, but Beasley could ill-afford to ease up on his pushing, as Distinctive Darci (Gerald Mosse) came breathing down their neck. In the end, one length separated the two horses.
Super Six, ridden by apprentice Troy See, finished third, two-and-three-quarter lengths away, with the resuming Cyborg (Barend Vorster) plugging home late for fourth, a head away.
The winning time was 1min 09.36sec for the 1,200m on the short course.
Aramco, who was known as Mawahibb when the winner of one 1,200m race for Team Hawkes in Sydney, has now recorded all his three wins over the same trip in Singapore, with the other outings producing a third and a fourth.
To Beasley, it is the Australian-bred's class, especially on the dam side, that has seen him stamp his mark in Singapore.
"It's my first ride on him, but I know he's well-bred being a half-brother to Golden Slipper winner Mossfun (out of Eye For Fun), and he showed his class today," said the Australian jockey.
"John Powell could not ride him today at this weight, but he said to me to hide him at the back as he was too forward with him at his last start.
"I rode him during the week and he gave me a good feeling. He had a beautiful run around today, but as I pulled the whip on him at the 300m, he ducked in and as I grabbed my rein, I lost my whip.
"He still ran out to the line very well. I think he's a horse that will go places here."
Baertschiger had no hesitation in talking up Aramco in the same breath as far as his future career path goes.
"He pulled too hard over 1,400m at his last start, but still did well to run third," said the Australian handler.
"Looking at the speedmap today, I knew there would be top speed. Danny lost his whip but rode him hands and heels and the horse responded very well.
"There was no weight on him today, and Danny got the ride as he does ride a fair bit for the owner. We've got to keep the owner happy and it's worked out good.
"The horse is potentially a Class 1 horse. He's got a good pedigree and he's won three from five here, so the future looks bright for him."
Already a handy moneyspinner of over A$100,000 (S$108,500) in Australia, Aramco has taken his local stakes earnings a little over the same mark - around $120,000.
Aramco, who in the end started as the $16 favourite, can certainly take that latest win as a significant reference to his future endeavours.