Chopin's Fantaisie lands hat-trick in style
Clements' exciting three-year-old displays star quality again to stay unbeaten
Twice, he was chopped off a run in the straight but the setbacks did not prevent him from winning again.
That proved that CHOPIN'S FANTAISIE possessed that vital trait - class - as he made it three from three at Kranji yesterday, and his connections can look forward to having a good time with their rising star.
The well-bred bay New Zealand-bred, a full-brother to Hong Kong champion galloper Ambitious Dragon, showcased his star quality in his debut on May 5 with a win over the Polytrack 1,100m in near-record time in Restricted Terms.
Four weeks later, he overcame the second-run syndrome to oblige in a hard-fought head victory over Magic City over the 1,400m on turf in Novice company.
Although up in Class 4 with the top weight of 58kg yesterday, Chopin's Fantaisie again displayed his classy side to score his third consecutive victory.
Jockey Vlad Duric got the even-money favourite to a brilliant start, together with Really Capable, last-start winner Winterfell and Justice Lass.
Really Capable secured a one-length lead over Winterfell on settling down and racing past the halfway mark. Chopin's Fantaisie was in the box-seat third, with Justice Lass on his outside. Lim's Reform (late Damon) and Fighting Warrior were next.
Winterfell tackled Really Capable on straightening. Fighting Warrior moved up third. Chopin's Fantaisie tried to go through between Winterfell and Fighting Warrior but the gap closed, causing anxiety to his legion of suporters. Lim's Reform loomed up on the outside and popped ahead in the final 300m.
Realising there was not enough room between Really Capable and Winter, Duric angled Chopin's Fantaisie out to take a small gap between Fighting Warrior and Lim's Reform.
Once he got through, Chopin's Fantaisie produced a tremendous burst to beat Lim's Reform by half a length over the 1,400m trip on the long course.
Obviously, trainer Michael Clements was a relieved man.
"He was travelling really well throughout the race and, really, it was just a matter of opening up and obviously and fortunately it did," said the Zimbabwean-born trainer.
"Absolutely, especially over this sort of trip, you know. He's a horse looking for further and, yeah, great to see him full of running at the end.
"We've considered stepping him up to a higher class prior to this race and, obviously, going over a bit further but clearly, you know, he's competitive down at this level even over seven furlongs (1,400m).
"We are waiting to hear what Vlad has to say but certainly that's what he has shown us all along - that he's looking for a bit of a trip, so we're looking to start stepping him up now and moving towards longer distances."
Duric admitted that he was concerned when faced with the equine wall in the straight.
"Yeah, a bit worried, to say the least, but he's such a lovely horse, you know," said the season's leading jockey of the third of his four winners yesterday.
"He's got a beautiful turn of foot when you ask him, albeit he's still a bit new.
"But I really would have liked to get out a little bit sooner but, you know, I've got good riders around me and I was on the horse to beat, and the boys had to give themselves the best chance and that was fair enough.
"But, you know, when he got the run, he quickened up really well and he was going to win the race. But, when he hit the front, he stargazed a bit still, so there's still plenty of improvement in him.
"He's just a beautiful horse, lovely mover with a smart head on him and, yeah, it was a good effort to win top of Class 4 with a big weight for a three-year-old. So, he ticked a lot of boxes today."