Monday, 2 January 2012
: The reuniting of the old firm of trainer Mark Walker and jockey Opie Bosson bore instant results when they took out the headline act of the New Year's Day meeting, the $200,000 Group 3 New Year Cup (1900m) on Polytrack, with Flying Fulton.
| Flying Fulton|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The five-time New Zealand champion trainer combined with Bosson to a multitude of black-type wins, with a large portion for Walker's main supporter David Ellis of Te Akau Racing Stable.
Fittingly, it was in those same famous tangerine and blue stars colours that the pair rekindled their lethal touch in big races with Flying Fulton, an honest and consistent galloper in Walker's own words.
Shouldering the topweight of 58kg and breaking from the outermost alley were perceived as two hurdles to overcome for the five-year-old son of Flying Spur, but after 1min 58.67secs, the game galloper made light of them with a slashing 2 ¼-length win over favourite Lizarre (Barend Vorster) with Power Blitz (Shafiq Rusof) third another 3 ¼ lengths away. Flying Fulton paid $27 for a win.
To Walker, the gelding owes much of his win to Bosson's polish in the saddle.
“Opie gave him a gun ride. He put him in the right spot and set him alight at the right time,” said Walker.
“From his wide gate, he could not get him in but he was still able to get him to relax under his 58kg.
“He's such a tough and consistent horse. We spelled him a couple of times but we realised he's better off racing than staying in his box.
“I think he's also getting better with age. I was going to freshen him up after today's race but I may give him a run in that 2000m race (Fortune Bowl) on grass coming up on Chinese New Year.”
Bosson could not hide his delight at notching a big-race success for a team he has reached many heights with,including the Telegraph Stakes and Waikato Draught Sprint with Darci Brahma.
“It's a special feeling to get another big one for Mark and David,” said Bosson. “We go a long way.
“He slotted in quite nicely from the start and travelled sweetly for me.
“Turning for home, I had a horse on my outside but once he got going he quickened up so well.
“I was confident he would win once he picked up the leader. He won very easily in the end.”
Licensed for six months, Bosson said he was looking forward to another fruitful partnership at a hunting ground he has enjoyed plenty of success over the years.
“It's been a good place for me Singapore,” said Bosson who counts a Singapore Gold Cup with Recast (2008) and an Emirates Singapore Derby with Race Ahead (2010) as his career highlights here.
“Hopefully I get a good run in the next six months. If I get a chance to stay longer, I would gladly do so.”Flying Fulton
, who picked up Walker's only previous feature win (the Group 3 Committee's Prize last September) since relocating from Matamata two years ago, has really thrived since racing in Singapore. He has now recorded six wins from 21 starts and amassed prizemoney in excess of $600,000 while he earned only NZ$40,000 in New Zealand.
South Easter (Olivier Placais) led the race but tried to slow up the tempo down the backstraight. Lizarre, who was caught three wide in the first half of the race, descended on stablemate South Easter to match motors with keep him company till the home turn.
South Easter had no answer when Lizarre popped the question, but was soon collared by Flying Fulton who was charging home from his midfield position. After a brief tussle, Flying Fulton stretched out to score going away.
Bosson, who is licensed to ride exclusively for Walker and fellow New Zealander Bruce Marsh, made sure he made both bosses happy at the end of the inaugural Singapore meeting by booting home $15 favourite Red Beard for Marsh in the last race, the $75,000 Good Health 2012 Handicap, a Class 3 race over 1400m.