23 September 2018

Aramco books Garden City ticket after brilliant win

Two races after he confirmed Sunday winner Be Bee as a Garden City Trophy runner, trainer Shane Baertschiger saw another one of the earmarked contender greet the judge, Aramco.

With rising star Bold Thruster as the third of a star Baertschiger trio to gang-tackle the Group 3 event over 1200m on October 21, the Australian handler was already rubbing his hands in anticipation.

Aramco ($25), who won the Group 3 JBBA Rocket Man Sprint (1200m) with champion apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen earlier in April, had another rookie in the saddle in Sunday’s $125,000 Flax 2012 Stakes, a Kranji Stakes A Division 1 race over 1200m – Zyrul Nor Azman, a young man he throws a bone at every now and then, like at their first and only previous winning combination with Dutrow on August 31. 

The Bruce Marsh-indentured and New Zealand-trained four-kilo claimer certainly rewarded Baertschiger’s faith in him with a faultless ride on the Magic Albert six-year-old.

Settled at the rear in the field whittled down to only nine runners following the withdrawals of leading hopes Zac Kasa, Mr Fantastic and Al Green, Aramco was a touch keen when held up from behind runners, but once Zyrul slipped some reins, he zipped around to be within striking distance at the home turn.

On the inside, Augustano (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) was being hailed the winner after he easily swept past Lim’s Rally (Troy See) who was fading fast after setting a brisk tempo, but was soon collared by Eye Guy (Muzi Yeni), who was plugging away solidly down the middle of the track despite a torrid run four wide punching the breeze throughout.

But they all had to settle for the minors when Aramco came motoring home on the outside. Augustano tried to thwart him, but well ridden by Zyrul, Aramco kept finding to hit the line with one length to spare from Lee Freedman’s gallant charge.

Eye Guy just missed the runner-up spot by a nose. The winning time was 1min 8.94secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.

“The fast speed played into his hands. He was up in body weight by 10kg but he was up to his winning weight today,” said Baertschiger.

“He was still a bit keen, but the instructions were to bring him on the outside, and Zy gave him a perfect ride. He’s a horse who gets along with apprentice jockeys.

“The Garden City Trophy is definitely where he is going next.”

Zyrul was thankful for Baertschiger’s support, but the forever modest rider again played down his role in the win, his fifth for the year, and second consecutive win for the Australian handler.

“The four-kilo claim was a massive help, but in saying that, the horse did everything by himself,” said Zyrul.

“I may not be the best claimer around, but Shane has been good to me. I do make mistakes and I’m still learning, but he supports me when he can.

“I’ve never ridden that horse before, but he felt very strong today. After we jumped and sat at the rear, he wanted to rip through at the 600m, but I wanted to wait a little longer, and when I took him to the outside, he let down with a big acceleration.”

With that sixth success, Aramco has now taken his prizemoney level around the $450,000 mark for the Aramco Stable.

Aramco, a half-brother to Group 1 Golden Slipper Mossfun, was a private purchase from Australia by Wade Burridge of Premier Racing Partnerships.

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Image: Singapore Turf Club