Monday, 21 May 2012
: Only some kind of magic could have taken short-priced favourite Super Easy from his untenable position to first across the winning post in the Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) on Friday – and he was lucky he had the right man on his back that night: Joao “Magic” Moreira.
| Super Easy|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
Unbeaten at his nine previous runs, the gallant three-year-old by Darci Brahma
was not only aiming for the perfect 10, but also the cleansweep in the Singapore Three-Year Challenge (he already had the 3YO Sprint and 3YO Classic in the bag) and a tidy bonus of $150,000.
But all these prizes looked like they had flown out the window when the Michael Freedman-trained colt ran into dead ends from the top of the straight to the 200m mark. Moreira, the one considered by all and sundry as the only jockey at Kranji who can win on a broomstick, suddenly looked like he had run out of ideas as he tried to duck and weave in the traffic jam in search of daylight.
After Super Easy
($7) settled on the rails from his barrier No 1, the sit-and-wait tactics was the script most had anticipated, but when he drifted back to third-last at the 800m, the plot suddenly looked very difficult for Super Easy.Totality
(Soo Khoon Beng), who had led the 13-horse field from the jump, was coming under siege from all over the shop upon straightening. El Milagro
(John Powell) and Let's See Action
(Greg Cheyne) were chiming in while the other fancies Shuttle Man
(Saimee Jumaat) and Better Life
(Alan Munro) were starting to charge home from the rear.
Super Easy had taken closer order from the rear, but then began his litany of woes from the 300m.
Pressed on by Shuttle Man on his outside, he switched to the inside, but was first disappointed for a run when the gap closed. He rolled back out across heels, but again could not find any way out. In the process, he copped a bump from another runner.
As he went for a gap between Let's See Action and El Milagro, he again got squeezed, but as interrupted as his momentum had been, it burst back into full cry inside the last 100m as he finally found clear galloping room. Stablemate Cash Luck
(Stephen Baster) was also running on but class and a touch of freakiness combined to see the Joy N Happiness Stable champion home by a neck.Cash Luck
, who was first-up from an unsuccessful Dubai campaign, ran a super second for a stable queue-up. Shuttle Man battled on gamely for third another three parts of a length away while Better Life did her best work at the finish to run fourth another 1 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 36.57secs on the yielding track.
Freedman's lofty opinion of Super Easy reached unattained heights at the winner's circle as he lavished praise on a colt he just felt “privileged” to train.
“I'm just privileged to train a horse like him,” said the Australian handler who was at his sixth Group win for the year, four of which were provided by Super Easy.
“At the 200m, I didn't think he could get a run. But both him and Joao showed their true champion qualities at that moment.
“Joao has always had faith in him and he did not panic. He's such an amazing rider and they should show what he did to the apprentice's school.
“It goes to show things don't often go to plan in racing and a good jockey should always come up with Plan B and C.”
Freedman said Super Easy would now go for a well-deserved break after emulating the Triple Crown feat of Better Than Ever
(2010) and Gingerbread Man
(2011) – and his early campaign as a four-year-old may begin under other skies.
“I'll sit and chat with the owners what his next plans are, but I've always believed he's good enough to go for the Melbourne Spring Carnival,” said Freedman.
“I've always believed he's as good as any of the good ones that I have been associated with in Australia.”
While he was being congratulated for weaving his magic yet again, Moreira himself played down the part he took in the incredible slalom run to the winning post.
“I was always confident he would win as long as I could get a run,” said the Brazilian jockey, who interestingly was at only his second Group 1 win (first was in the 2010 Patron's Bowl aboard Intercept) in his four seasons at Kranji.
“I was happy where I was even though we were so far back as he was always travelling on the bit.
“But when the other horse (Shuttle Man) pushed us to the inside, I didn't have much choice but to go looking for a gap on the inside.
“But again, the gap at the 300m closed and I took a bump. I then took him back to the outside, but again I got bumped.
“It's only when a gap between El Milagro and Let's See Action came up that I knew I could still win the race. He's got such a big heart and fought all the way to the line for an amazing win.”
Super Easy has now scored 10 wins from as many starts for prizemoney around the $1.3 million mark.