Monday, 7 May 2012
: Classy performer The Comedian handled the soft going in scoring a comfortable victory in the $125,000 Punters' Way 35th Anniversary Cup over 1400m on Sunday.
| The Comedian|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
Ridden by Stephen Baster, The Comedian
, backed-in to run the $12 favourite, scored by two-and-a-half lengths over Won't Stop
(Oscar Chavez) with Black Ice
(Saifudin Ismail) a length away third.
The aspirations of connections of Better Than Ever
for the Group 1 $3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup over 2000m on May 20 were dealt a blow when the gelding bled and will have to spend the next three months on the sidelines.
Better Than Ever, ridden by Joao Moreira, finished at the tail of the field after vying for the lead in the early stages of the race.
Won't Stop led narrowly from Better Than Ever on settling down with Arowana Dot Com
(Greg Cheyne), Keep Away
(Mohd Zaki) and The Comedian in close attendance.
Turning for home Won't Stop had kicked clear and Better Than Ever was under pressure and quickly weakened out of contention. Keep Away was moving forward while Baster had worked his way off the fence and into the action.
Passing the 300m mark The Comedian had moved to the lead over Won't Stop and Baster kept pushing the gelding to the line in scoring a comfortable victory.
The Comedian was having his first start since returning from Dubai where he had two starts – finishing a first-up fourth on February 16 before running seventh at his last start on March 1.
A recent barrier trial convinced trainer Michael Freedman that The Comedian had returned to Singapore in top form.
“He's a talented horse but things didn't quite go his way over in Dubai,” said Freedman.
“I thought his first-up run when fourth over there was good but his last run was a little out of character for him.
“I think coming home to his home environment has really suited him.
“I was a little concerned with the track today even though he's won on a yielding track previously.
“The way he won over the 1400m today I think he'll get over at least a mile (1600m) so we might look at some over the weight-for-age races with him later in the year.
“I'll sit down and have a look at what's available but at this stage I think that's the way we'll be heading.”
Sunday's success by The Comedian was the first time Baster had ridden the gelding in a race although he trialled the gelding in the lead-up.
“He gave me a good feel in his trial and on the wet track I thought he had a very good chance,” said Baster.
“Better Than Ever was the best horse in the race but there was a doubt about him in the wet and that's the way it turned out.
“We had a lovely run throughout the race and he worked into it at the right time.
“He took a bit of riding to get him to the lead but really the fast pace suited him.
“Once he balanced up in the straight he was good and I liked the way he attacked the line.”
A five-year-old Australian-bred by Encosta De Lago
from the Rory's Jester mare How Funny
, The Comedian landed his sixth win from 15 starts and took his prizemoney past the $400,000 for the Mummify Stable.