Song To The Moon returned to his best after more than a year of absence at the winner’s circle with his last winning partner Nooresh Juglall in the $100,000 Class 2 race over 1800m on Sunday.
The five-year-old son of Savabeel last won in an Open Handicap race over 2000m in February last year, when under the care of previous handler Ricardo Le Grange and had Juglall aboard.
However, the Jubilant Racing stable-owned gelding did not manage a win despite several tries in higher-class races thereafter, including a few attempts in Group races, and running 12th to the Cliff Brown-trained Gilt Complex in the Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) last year.
Yet, winning trainer Michael Clements thought the circumstances were perfect for his Gold Cup hopeful on Sunday.
“It’s a combination of a few things that came together in a day,” said Clements who is at his 29th win this season.
“He’s a stayer, he’s been waiting for the 1800m, and there was a bit of give in the track today.
“We also took the blinkers off and put the winkers on, which was how he was previously winning his races.
“We’ve done a few things different with him in the last few weeks, just working him up as he seemed too relaxed and laid-back at his recent runs.
“It is Nooresh’s sixth win on the horse now too, and he was on the horse previously at all his wins.
“This horse has got a bit of ability. If he can stay in form now and keep his ratings up, that (Gold Cup) will be where we are heading with him.”
The $1.35 million Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup is the third and last Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series, which will be held on November 11 and run as a 2000m race for the first time this year.
Song To The Moon ($66) travelled comfortably behind pacemaker Lim’s Regard (John Powell) and Lim’s Archer (Craig Grylls) in third position.
Turning into the straight, Juglall called upon Song To The Moon to give chase. At the 350m, Lim’s Regard began to tire, but Lim’s Archer still persisted while Aotearoa (Daniel Moor) came with a valiant challenge on the outside of Song To The Moon, but Juglall kept at his mount who was able to stave the mare off by three-quarter lengths.
Golazo (Olivier Placais) finished another half-a-length away in third. The winning time on the Long Course over 1800m was 1min 48.52secs.
Juglall was glad to be back to winning ways on such a handy conveyance for him.
“Thanks to the team and Mr Clements. This horse has always been one of my favourite horses,” said the Mauritian rider.
“When Mr Clements phoned me on Monday and asked me to ride the horse, I was very excited to get back on him.
“He did everything I asked of him today, and I think he just runs for me.
“The hard work has been done at home, I’m just the pilot at the races. I’m very happy he won another race.
“The track is very soft out there, it feels a bit slippery, but he loves the track.”
Song To The Moon has now won six races from 26 starts, amassing over $305,000 for his connections.
With regards to the stable’s four-year-old star Tannhauser who ran a disappointing tenth in the Class 2 race over 1200m on Friday, Clements reckoned he needs a freshen-up for now.
“Tannhauser was not that keen. He was sort of off the bit in the early part of the race,” he said.
“He’s definitely a horse that runs better fresh, so we’re probably just looking to give him a freshen-up.”
Song To The Moon was a $230,000 purchase from the draft of Anzac Lodge at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.