Glen Boss makes no bones about his “ordinary” season in 2018, but seems to have bounced back with that resolve he would make amends this year.
If there is one horse Boss can resonate with when it comes to proving the lights are still on, it’s Countofmontecristo.
The old firm reunited at Tuesday’s barrier trials. Like the good old days of their dominance in the 2017 Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, they led to score with ease from Hong Kong galloper Blizzard (Daniel Moor).
Boss has not race-ridden the son of Echoes Of Heaven and 2017 champion three-year-old since October 2017 when they found one better in Infantry in the Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m).
A musical chair of jockeys then took place – Eight different jockeys got on at his next nine outings, all at Group level, none succeeded.
Racing has a funny way of coming full circle – and in Countofmontecristo’s case, at the right time, Boss felt.
“Count is in great form. I’ve been working him in the morning and he’s got fresh legs and a real will to run,” he said.
“I had a lot to do with him since his early days and I can tell you he’s as good as I’ve ever had him. He felt really great in his trial this morning.
“He’s actually been running okay without winning. He’s been unlucky to have some substandard rides as well, like in the Raffles Cup when he went too soon, he should have won.
“I think there is a good race left in him, a Group 1 which he has not won, but he is so worthy of.
“He’s still very competitive at that level. He’s got good clean legs and now that he has fully matured, I think he should specialise as a 1400m-1600m horse.
“But he can sprint well fresh, too.”
The Fortune Bowl (1400m) in two weeks’ time on February 6 is precisely that type of race his trainer had in mind for him.
“I’m happy with his prep. He had a good break in the paddocks up the top,” said Clements.
“He’s a pretty straightforward horse though he’s not easy to get fit again as he’s not a very big heavy horse. He doesn’t need a lot of work.
“He really enjoyed himself in the trial this morning. He travelled well with minimum encouragement and found the line well.
“I’m really pleased to see him trial the way he did. He’s really relaxed and scored an easy win.
“He will be going for the Fortune Bowl. Chopin’s Fantaisie will trial on Thursday and depending on how he goes, he may run in the Fortune Bowl, too.” -STC