Be Bee does it for 'Stretch'
All-outsider affair in $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe
Trainer Shane Baertschiger was on Cloud Nine at Kranji last night, winning the race he lost by a narrow margin last year - the $325,000 Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m.
A year ago, the lanky Australian saw his charge Caorunn being beaten by a head by Lim's Racer in this final leg of the six-race Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series for two-year-olds.
But, last night, his emerging youngster BE BEE did something that even older horses find hard to do - backing up within a short space of time. In this case, in just 11 days.
The talk of the town was trainer James Peters' stylish fourth-leg winner Mr Hanks, who was the $12 favourite in the capacity 16-horse field, but the race ended in an all-outsider affair with the first five finishers all showing three-figure odds.
Be Bee, owned by long-time supporter of racing Jerry Sung of the once-powerful Auric Stable, produced a nice turn of foot in the straight to beat first-leg winner Charger by one-and-three-quarter lengths in 1min 10.41sec.
Be Bee won his debut on June 26 as the $11 favourite but paid $106 last night. Charger started at $167 and paid $44 for a place.
The filly Bringer Of War, who jumped at $140 and $35, finished third, one-and-a-half lengths away, with third-leg winner Yaya Papaya ($763) fourth.
D'Great Star, the least-backed at $1,005, finished fifth.
No-one struck the quartet and $49,852 was snowballed to the next race.
Mr Hanks finished 10th.
Former eight-time Singapore champion jockey Saimee Jumaat made his debut as a trainer last night with newcomer Raheeb in the race but his charge faded from a forward position to beat only two home.
Ridden by John Powell, Be Bee tracked the speed set by Charger but soon eased to fifth on the rails. Captain Jamie tackled Charger on straightening. Bringer Of War was on the rails.
Powell brought Be Bee up with a nice run on the outside and, once he asked for an effort, his mount quickened beautifully and raced past Charger with 200m to go for a commanding victory.
Baertschiger was a bit breathless after Be Bee made up for Caorunn's defeat last year.
"Last year, we drew barrier 15 and this time we drew barrier 1," said the trainer affectionately called "Stretch" at Kranji.
"Well, he's a beautiful-looking horse, thanks to Jerry Sung for buying it for me. He paid a lot of money for him and he has done a big job.
"He only raced 11 days ago. You know, it's not easy, 11-day back-up for a two-year-old, especially first time under the lights and first time on turf.
"But he has always shown us a lot and I'm glad Johnny won on him, as he did all the work on him but he could not ride him in his first start."
Baertschiger said Be Bee will go for the Group 3 Juvenile Championship over 1,400m on July 30 and that Powell reckoned the horse will relish the trip.
Powell said most of the runners were racing under lights and turf for the first time, even for Be Bee, and they seemed to wander around a bit.
"My bloke just got a bit unbalanced and lost his strides a bit around the corner. But, once I balanced him up, he won really well," said the Australian.