Extra time off has Big Hearted ticking away nicely

The extra month between runs was by default, with connections hoping it now works in undefeated juvenile Big Hearted’s favour in the end.

Big Hearted winning the INGLIS READY2RACE SALE STAKES OPEN 2YO
Big Hearted winning the INGLIS READY2RACE SALE STAKES OPEN 2YO Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Michael Clements' two-from-two winner has not raced since taking out the first Leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series, the Inglis Ready2Race Stakes (1000m) at his second start (he won on debut in a Restricted Maiden race) on May 19.

On that day, Big Hearted  was trapped four deep without cover in the Polytrack event, but still unleashed an electric turn of foot at the top of the straight. He had to, however, survive a protest from runner-up Rocket Star's jockey Callan Murray for alleged interference at the 300m. 

Whilst he was full of running, he noticeably hung in as he was launched by regular partner Vlad Duric, but Stewards ultimately decided he had not taken Rocket Star's running despite the waywardness and the result stood.

The son of Hallowed Crown was then meant to run in the third Leg on June 21, but he was unfortunately scratched due to a minor respiratory tract issue.

He will now head towards the fifth and final Leg, the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) on July 19, fresher than he would have been had he run the third Leg won by the Shane Baertschiger-trained Hotshots Slam.

After watching the Thai-owned gelding come from behind to win a barrier trial on Tuesday, assistant-trainer Michael White said that longer time to screw him down further might turn out to be a "blessing in disguise".

"We wanted to teach him to settle better behind runners this morning. That was perfect," said White.

"He had some minor mucus the last time. It was nothing serious, we would have probably run him if it was the grand final, but we didn't want to take a risk and scratched him.

"Instead, we've had more time to get him right and he has thrived since. It was a blessing in disguise."

Duric was certainly pleased with Big Hearted's barrier trial even if a whole new bunch of exciting two-year-olds have made the competition more interesting since.

"The horse on my inside (David's Sling) came out underneath my neck and we got carried to the back," said the two-time Singapore champion jockey.

"Anyway, we wanted to ride him quiet today so he can learn to run in amongst horses. At his last race, he was awkward to ride even if he still won.

"So we wanted to give him the experience of settling behind horses. I didn't ask him to do too much and he scored a soft win in the end.

"He's never been on grass, but we'll see. Hopefully he draws a barrier.

"There are some smart two-year-olds who have come out since – like Cliff's (Brown) horse (Inferno), Ricardo's (Le Grange, Rocket Star) and Shane (Baertschiger) who also has some nice first starters (Hotshot Slams, No Regrets, Boom Shakalaka).

"But some horses will be on a 12-day back-up whereas my bloke will be fresh. Hopefully, that will give him a bit of an edge."


Singapore Turf Club