Top pick Absolvido gave connections and backers some heart flutters in the straight but his raw ability saved the day in the end.
After stumbling out of the gates in the S$20,000 Open Maiden race over 1400m, the $18 favourite was dropped to the rear by jockey Glen Boss, whipping the 12-horse field in for most of the way.
The Rip Van Winkle four-year-old did start to improve noticeably from the 500m, but another furlong later, was mired in a big spot of bother.
Not only was Absolvido caught behind a wall of horses, but his greenness and inclination to throw his head around compounded matters further.
Without resorting to the whip, Boss pushed the Steven Burridge-trained New Zealand-bred right through, steering him to a resounding 1 ¾ length-win.
“He checked at the start, he clipped heels and I dropped him right back. He was still very green throughout,” said Boss.
“He was like a deer caught in the headlights. He had no idea what was happening, especially in the straight.
“But once he got clear, he was very good.”
Burridge said the yard held a high opinion of the Premier Racing Stable-owned latest recruit, but knew they had to give him a bit of time to mature further.
“This horse showed ability from the start but he was also a slow-maturing sort,” said the Australian trainer.
“His first run was good (closing fifth to Eddie Gray in an Open Maiden race over 1200m on May 6). There was not much point riding him differently as he’s the type of horse who gets back and sprints home late.
“We just had to ride him for luck and it’s paid off. He’ll run a mile easy – and it’s good for Wade (son and head of Premier Racing Stable) to have another winner.”
Absolvido (previously named Rip ‘N’ Run) caught the eye of the Premier Racing boss at a barrier trial in Perth.
“He’s a well-trained individual but still very green, but as you could see from tonight’s win, he’s got lengths on this lot,” said Wade Burridge.
“I didn’t know about him until he trialled at Belmont in Perth. I thought he was a nice horse, and he will probably make the grade here.” -STC