Leslie Khoo-trained newcomer proves too good for Open Maiden rivals
Argentinian newcomer Mesmerizing, who arrived without a win from six starts but ran in a Group 2 race, proved too classy in Saturday's lacklustre $20,000 Open Maiden race over the Polytrack 1,600m.
Ridden by jockey Wong Chin Chuen, the $31 shot trained by Leslie Khoo for Toast Trusts & Mesmerizing Stable spreadeagled his rivals by 43/4 lengths.
He clocked 1min 41.18sec.
The $11 favourite Great Expectation finished second, 21/2 lengths clear of Golden Tiger .
The manner Mesmerizing won was certainly impressive, but Khoo felt that one swallow does not make a summer.
"He showed a lot of ability today. He's a nice horse, but he beat quite a lousy field. So, we cannot judge him on that run alone," said the former top jockey.
"He'll probably run in Class 4 next. We'll then have a better idea. Turf or Polytrack, it all depends what races are available. But he's definitely a horse who needs more distance."
Racing as Personal Skill back home, the four-year-old entire by Cosmic Trigger had a second and three thirds, from 1,500m to 2,000m.
He was fifth in a Group 2 race over 2,000m at La Plata.
Mesmerizing was imported by Toast Trusts & Mesmerizing Stable alongside another South American-bred entire, a Uruguayan-based Brazilian-bred, Sing Our Song.
The duo even trialled together on Aug 26, with the boom clearly on Sing Our Song after his win, more pointedly on his impressive Uruguayan record of three wins from only four starts.
Sing Our Song was well backed in his debut - in a Class 3 speed dash two weeks ago. But he could manage only an eighth behind Entertainer in a Poly 1,100m event, while Mesmerizing scored in a canter.
After a smart break from Gate 2, he was never bustled up to go forward. But he landed there a little by default with none of his nine rivals keen for the role.
Held off the fence as Rusty Rust kicked up on the rails, Mesmerizing still exuded poise and control after he strode to the front from the first bend into the backstraight.
Even when Golden Tiger whipped around to poke his nose in front, Khoo's new charge was still coasting comfortably, albeit the lather of sweat foaming off his breastplate might suggest otherwise.
The real qualities came into the equation the moment Wong made his move on straightening. In a trice, he left Golden Tiger and the menacing Great Expectation battling in his wake.