Boy Next Door won his first race by making all in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1000m with apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen attributing the win to experience.
The Showcasing three-year-old trainer Tan Kah Soon also owns with the Ascot Stable had eight starts prior to Sunday, including four in New Zealand. From his eight opponents, only Flaunt and Broadway Success had some mileage under the hooves – four starts apiece. The rest were either relatively new or were at their inaugural race.
Other than Boy Next Door being more seasoned, the barrier was another factor in his favour, said Wong. Drawn in gate one for the first time, he sprang to the front under the pouring rain, never to be rejoined thereafter.
Super Smart and Flaunt made decent bids inside the last furlong, but tried as they might, they were unable to find a chink in his armour. Boy Next Door went on to score comfortably by two lengths from Super Smart with Flaunt third another neck away.
Starting as joint $20 favourite with Super Smart, Boy Next Door ran the Polytrack 1000m in 1min 0.37sec.
“All the while, he’s been running against very strong Restricted Maidens. The nice draw in barrier one also helped,” said Wong who was opening his 2019 account.
“He also had the advantage of having more racing experience than the other horses.
“The boss said to send him forward. There was a little bit of pressure from the start, the pace was quite strong.
“But I held my ground and he won quite well in the end. Again, that was mostly because of his better racing experience.”
Tan said Boy Next Door has not really applied himself as a genuine racehorse early doors, but he had finally put it together on Sunday.
“He’s not a completely honest horse. He’s been shirking it,” said the Singaporean handler.
“When you need him to do something in a part of a race, he lays in. We’ve changed him around, pushed him forward and we made up his mind for him today.
“We were a bit worried with the blinkers off, but he had the rails on the left. I think he’ll go further in the future.” -STC