7 February 2018

Baertschiger hopes to see Paparazzi do the hounding this time

Blinkers will be the key factor to Paparazzi’s campaign towards the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge.


An A$2.2 million purchase as a yearling, Paparazzi has not put a foot wrong at Kranji except for his second start when he floundered out of the race after a wide trip without cover.


That run was quickly forgiven as he was all the rage at his next outing on December 3 – his first step-up to 1400m - but he found one better in Southern Spur.


Trainer Shane Baertschiger then decided to test him with a set of shades at his first 2018 outing on January 21, given he was dropping back to 1200m. All seemed to be going haywire for the Snitzel four-year-old previously prepared in Sydney by the father and son team of Peter and Paul Snowden, when he bombed his start, indirectly caused a fall (Ottawa), and got all sparked up to go like the clappers at the head of affairs with his mouth wide open.


But John Powell’s safe pair of hands was on top of things, even with Charger (Michael Rodd) not helping their cause by eyeballing Paparazzi for most of the trip. When Powell finally took the foot off the brakes, Charger was easily shaken off as Paparazzi literally flew off to go and run his rivals ragged.


Baertschiger could breathe better. He will leave the blinkers on in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1200m on Sunday and then go on a race-by-race basis towards his main target, the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge which kicks off with the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1400m) on June 10 followed by the Group 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m) on July 1 before wrapping up with the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby (1800m) on July 22.


“The blinkers will stay even though he pulled hard with them last time,” said Baertschiger.


“I think it was the bump at the start that fired him up more than anything else. He raced twice with them in Australia (two seconds from as many outings when known as Shaheen – 1200m and 1300m at Newcastle) and went good.


“He’s pulled up well after that run, and JP will ride him again. The Short Course will suit him better than the Long Course.


“Hopefully, he can be on the speed and take a sit even if he has drawn wide in eight.”


Baertschiger has no reason to believe his charge cannot measure up against the much tougher opposition he is taking on – Lim’s Royal, Justice Light and Lim’s Dashing to name a few are definitely no pushovers. The way he fares will then be a useful guide as to his prospect as a 4YO contender.


“We are looking at the 4YO series for him, but a lot will depend on how he goes at his next races and whether the blinkers stay or not,” said the Australian handler.


“The speed in Cup races tends to be more genuine. I’ll have a better idea after Sunday’s race, we still have a bit of time before the 4YO series comes up.”


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