Monday, 5 March 2012
: It has taken all of three rides, but jockey Stephen Baster has finally managed to extract the best of The Rude Warrior, who was his very first ride at Kranji when he began his Singapore stint on January 20.
| The Rude Warrior|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The Australian, who is licensed for six months, already had a feel of the son of Kempinsky
's headstrong mannerisms at his debut ride, especially down the back straight when the three-year-old was seen racing keenly and throwing his head around a couple of times.
The Michael Freedman-trained galloper still ran on for a half-length second in the 1600m race. Baster then spent a little bit more time with the gelding in a bid to get him to settle better, and their next pairing in a similar Initiation race over 1600m started to reap dividends as it resulted in an even narrower second – a head to Spinning Success
, though he was still inclined to overrace.
More schooling ensued and the third pairing proved the right one when The Rude Warrior
($12) showed plenty of determination to get the better of Positive Thinking
(Barend Vorster) inside the last 100m of Sunday's $65,000 Initiation race over 1700m on Polytrack.
With three runners giving him little breathing space in the lead, Very Very Good
(Saifudin Ismail) stuck on well upon straightening, but eventually weakened to finish third more than five lengths away. The winning time was 1min 47.13secs.
“He was the first one to be loaded and stood a long time inside. He jumped a bit flat-footed but he travelled a lot more relaxed this time,” said Baster.
“He is still doing many things wrong, like he tends to jump marks and gets his head up.
“The other horse gave him something to chase and to his credit he dug deep and never gave up. He's still a big baby but he's definitely a horse on the way up.”
Freedman paid kudos to Baster for the extra effort he has taken in getting the United Dragon Stable-owned galloper's act right.
“He's still very green and headstrong, and is still learning what racing is all about, but Steve has done a terrific job teaching him to settle better,” said Freedman.
“But I think his pedigree also kicked in today as the distance gets longer. He's by Kempinsky who was a real staying type back home.”
The win brings Freedman to the top of the trainer's ladder on 17 winners, one clear of Leslie Khoo.