Welcome aboard the Chopin's Fantaisie flight
Clements' well-bred newcomer lives up to hype of being HK champion Ambitious Dragon's full brother
Newcomer CHOPIN'S FANTAISIE lived up to the hype of being a full-brother to a Hong Kong champion with a grinding win at Kranji last night.
Ridden by jockey Vlad Duric, the three-year-old by Pins out of Golden Gamble, the sire and dam of Hong Kong's multiple Group 1 winner and HK$58.7 million (S$10.5 million) stakes earner Ambitious Dragon, Chopin's Fantaisie raced handily before clawing his way to beat fellow newcomer Webster by three parts of a length in the Restricted Terms event over 1,100m on the Polytrack.
Crazy Dreams led from another newbie, Ra Force, at the halfway mark. New Sensation, who opened as the odds-on favourite on his debut second to the exciting Tannhauser before drifting to $15, was third. Dayflirt and Chopin's Fantaisie came next, followed by Webster.
Crazy Dreams led into the straight from Ra Force. New Sensation tried to go after the leader but was running on empty, probably another victim of the second-run syndrome. Webster dived in to the inside, while Chopin's Fantaisie crept up nicely on the outside.
The two horses charged up to Crazy Dreams in the final 200m and soon got past. They then had to sort it out themselves to the line and it was Chopin's Fantaisie who gave more under Duric's vigorous riding.
There was a big murmur on the winner, who came in for a late plunge to overtake New Seansation as the favourite, paying $14 for a win.
Clements and the owner of Jubilant Racing No. 4 Stable paid NZ$150,000 (S$144,000) as a yearling, which was considered a bargain buy for a horse with such a good pedigree.
"The owner was very keen on him as a yearling with that pedigree. He managed to somehow get him, as there wasn't much interest on him at the yearling sale," said Clements.
"He's had a bit of time. He's an immature type, physically and mentally, and he's had a couple of setbacks coming here. So, we've taken it slowly with him.
"He's had a great prep. He showed ability but we always felt he was going to take a bit of time to sort of let the penny drop. Yeah, always felt he's capable of that tonight but, you know, getting them to race first time can turn up the other way sometimes."
Duric was also full of praise for Chopin's Fantaisie.
"Yeah, he's a lovely horse. The only thing that worried me tonight was the Polytrack and, drawn that inside barrier, I had to manoeuvre him at the 1,000m mark and I was able to get myself into a nice spot and keep his momentum going.
"He was going at half pace up the straight, you know. He's a lot more horse there than what you've seen. He's a big, raw bugger and, 100 per cent, he wants a mile. He's going to be a beautiful miler. He has got that gorgeous action and he'll develop into a nice horse for Michael and the connections."