The benefit of hindsight is a great thing in racing, and so trainer Shane Baertschiger found out for Be Bee on Friday night.
Following a resounding first-up win in a Kranji Stakes A race over 1200m in September, many thought the former top juvenile and Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) winner had finally flourished into the real deal, and would be hard to beat from that point onwards.
But the Showcasing four-year-old did not quite live up to these expectations at his next two outings – in the Garden City Trophy (1200m) won by less-fancied stablemate Aramco and the EW Barker Trophy (1400m).
At first bemused by the two defeats, Baertschiger dug deeper for answers. He soon realised it was not the gelding’s fault – but more his.
“I crunched him too much when he was first-up. We were running out of time and I trialled him a week before the race and he smashed them,” said the Australian conditioner.
“I made a mistake. He ran too good for his fitness - that flattened him.
“So, I freshened him up and he’s now unbeaten first-up. It’s four from four.
“Ben (Thompson) rode him a treat. This horse has now won from Class 4 to Class 1.
Initially dropped back at the rear from his wide gate, Be Bee took closer order three wide from the 700m, but still spotted Nepean around four lengths at the top of the straight.
Nepean showed no letting up as he went hard up against the rails, but Be Bee packed too many guns for him when he came motoring down the middle of the track.
“Be Bee has always been a good horse. He’s more of a 1400m to a mile horse now,” said Baertschiger.
“I will be looking at the Lion City Cup for him this year, but he will pick up other races in between.”
The Lion City Cup (1200m) will be run on May 25, together with the Kranji Mile (1600m) and the Singapore Guineas (1600m).
Thompson was delighted he had booted home a winner for a stable which had given him a few leg-ups since his famous two-day visit last November when he snared the EW Barker Trophy with Mister Yeoh for Cliff Brown.
“It’s satisfying to ride a winner for the famous Baertschiger name here. Shane was among the first to support me when I came last year,” said Thompson.
“Be Bee was wide coming off the backstraight, but I would rather be three deep with cover than six lengths off the lead.
“He still had his job cut out, but he was able to catch the leader. He did a good job in the end.”
Be Bee has now taken his handy record to six wins, two seconds and two thirds from 14 starts for stakes money in excess of $650,000 for the Auric Stable.