Heartening Flyer snares another gutsy win
Headed, he claws back to beat Sacred Judgement
Losing prolific sprinter Bold Thruster in a track gallop recently was a big heartache.
But Tivic Stable and trainer Michael Clements can console themselves in that they have an emerging galloper in Heartening Flyer, who scored his third victory in four starts at Kranji on Saturday.
Once again, the four-year-old New Zealand-bred entire showed great fighting spirit under regular jockey Louis-Philippe Beuzelin's vigorous riding to beat Sacred Judgement by a head in the $50,000 Class 4 Div 1 event over 1,400m.
The Mark Walker-trained runner-up was ridden by three-time Singapore champion Vlad Duric, who enjoyed a five-timer, culminating in the $400,000 Group 1 Singapore Guineas on the Cliff Brown-trained Inferno.
Clements had, at one stage, toyed with the idea of running Heartening Flyer in the Guineas over 1,600m, but was glad he opted for the softer option.
"He again showed a lot of guts. Into the straight, I thought he was a beaten horse. But Louis fought back and the horse responded," said the Zimbabwe-born Singaporean.
"We've always rated the horse highly. He had a couple of hard runs, especially at his first two wins, he looked beaten at his first win and he fought hard to score on Polytrack."
While no trainer could complain with such a promising record - three wins in four starts for about $110,000 in stakes - Clements is still pondering about a rather drastic recourse to enhance his yield further.
"He's a big powerful horse and, on top of this, he's still a colt. I may consider putting him out for a while," he said.
"I may then consider gelding him as I feel it will take much more out of him if we lighten him up.
"I'll give him a break and, hopefully, he can turn into the horse we always felt had the capabilities to do well."
Sacred Judgement was the first to break on Saturday, but last-start all-the-way winner Chicago Star pressed ahead to clinch the lead.
Heartening Flyer was next on the outside of Champagne Finale.
Then came Mandrake. Sacred Judgement eased back to midfield but was travelling well.
Beuzelin made his move turning for home. He moved up on the outside of Chicago Star, who drifted out a bit, taking the $8 favourite along.
Duric had moved Sacred Judgement up beautifully behind the pair.
Heartening Flyer popped ahead at the 350m mark but Sacred Judgement came up quickly to eyeball him.
The pair then broke away to settle the issue.
Under Duric's vigorous riding, Sacred Judgement poked ahead but, being the fighter that he is, Heartening Flyer produced that final winning punch.
The third horse, Mandrake, finished 21/2 lengths away.
The winner clocked 1min 22.62sec for the 1,400m on the Short Course B.
Heartening Flyer also showed plenty of guts when winning by a neck in his two other victories.