‘Girl’ power from Clements’ stable
Harry Dream and Greatham Girl score emphatic victories
Reigning Singapore champion trainer Michael Clements had a quiet September - with just one winner, Ablest Ascend.
But, on Saturday, he doubled that figure, thanks to his two mares, Harry Dream and Greatham Girl, in the first two events. The Zimbabwe-born naturalised Singaporean's winning duo brought his season's tally to 52 winners to be only five behind Mark Walker.
But the New Zealander struck back with Broadway Success and Speedy Missile to maintain his seven-winner lead - with only seven meetings remaining.
"A lot of my horses were due for a break. The handicap had caught up with them, many have gone up in ratings," said Clements. "That explained the quiet period, even if it's been longer than usual. It's good to be back in the winner's circle."
Both Harry Dream and Greatham Girl were the punters' favourites. They duly obliged with easy wins.
Harry Dream, who won one of her trials for her comeback after a near seven-month break, was backed down to $10 in the $30,000 Class 5 Division 1 race over the Polytrack 1,100m.
Clements said the 23kg rise in weight - from 497kg to 520kg - was more muscle than fat.
It was a pleasant physical growth after the hoof woes the four-year-old by Pins went through.
"She's a filly who had issues with both her front hooves, she's got flat hooves. We've had to nurse her along and we've managed it well," he said.
"It took a bit of time to get it right, and then she had a break, which did her a lot of good, as she picked up around 20kg. She has got a lot stronger physically.
"That has helped her a lot and she also runs well fresh. She was pretty impressive, she's clearly better than Class 5."
Harry Dream was anything but flat-footed.
Once Shafrizal Saleh gave a couple of reminders with the whip, his mount just took off down the middle of the track to race past the leaders, Wawasan and Bizar Wins.
The mare coasted home by 31/2 lengths from Class dropper Flak Jacket. She clocked 1min 05.21sec.
Greatham Girl - even hotter at $7 for a win - was just as impressive.
She took the $20,000 Open Maiden event over 1,400m by 33/4 lengths in 1min 23.61sec on the Long Course A.
Ridden by French jockey Louis-Philippe Beuzelin, she won in almost identical fashion - tracking the leaders before going for the kill.
"Greatham Girl had shown up nicely in some high-class races prior to this. The 1,400m was good for her and she drew well (4)," said Clements.
"She showed a lot of pace and was up with them before. But we noticed at her last two starts that she runs better when off the pace.
"She was up there because she showed a lot of pace from the better barrier and Louis just let her settle behind the leaders.
"She was strong up the straight, even if there was a bit of interference in the first half of the straight. She then pulled away to an easy win.
"I'll probably keep her at similar 1,400m races next."
It was the first win in five starts for Greatham Girl, who has earned $27,000 for Greatham Girl and MA Racing Stable. She was third in her preceding two starts.
Appointed Whale Stable's Harry Dream, who had a debut win and a second-up third before Saturday, has earned just shy of $30,000.