18 November 2018

Turf does the trick for I'm Incredible

I’m Incredible made quick amends on his unplaced debut with a tough and resilient winning performance at his next start in the $20,000 Open Maiden race over 1200m on Sunday.

Granted, he had his job cut out against a rising star like Jomo first-up, but trainer Shane Baertschiger and jockey John Powell were still expecting a much better run from I’m Incredible than his 7 ¼-length fourth in the Open Maiden Polytrack race over 1000m notwithstanding.

To the duo, the lacklustre run did not do his work at home justice. After scratching their heads for a while, Baertschiger and his stable jockey decided a switch to turf would hopefully do the trick.  

The response could not have been more resounding.

Tracking up race-leader Hero King (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) from barrier rise, the Lope De Vega four-year-old, who was sent off the even-money favourite, looked all over the winner when Powell upped the ante upon straightening.

Going through his gears a lot better than on debut, the chestnut gelding hit the front at the 300m before thwarting a late challenge from debutant Cru Bourgeois (Vlad Duric) rather comfortably. Under Powell’s strong urgings, I’m Incredible kept finding to score with half-a-length to spare on trainer Stephen Gray’s newcomer.

Such was the dominance of the first two that the next best finished a gap of another 3 ¾ lengths away, $112 outsider King Cobra (Craig Grylls). The winning time was 1min 11.94secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.

“He showed a lot in his work and even worked quite well with Bold Thruster,” said Baertschiger referring to his recent Group 3 Saas Fee Stakes winner.

“He had his first run in a 1000m race which was too sharp. I would have preferred something longer but that was the only option.

“Today, I put him on grass over 1200m and he ran much better. On pedigree, he will get a mile to 1800m.

“I might find another race for him before he goes for a break and I’ll then bring him back next year.”

Powell felt that the true I’m Incredible has come forward on Sunday, and hopefully for races to come.

“In his trackwork, he works like a Class 1 horse. We were probably misguided by that, as we were quite disappointed with his run first-up,” said the Australian jockey.

“I told Shane to put him on grass instead, and it’s paid off. He will go further and we will add blinkers on as well.”

The Powell-Baertschiger combination kept up their brilliant form with a second winner three races later with Red Symphony ($42) in the $60,000 Class 4 Premier race over 1200m.

The win took Baertschiger to within one winner of current leader Lee Freedman (59 versus 58), fuelling even greater suspense into this year’s battle for top honours in the trainer’s premiership.

“(Only one win behind), but I don’t know what Lee’s got under his arm,” said Baertschiger.

“It’s going to make for a great finish. I will just have to keep the horses sound and winning.”

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