Punters were right on the money after the well-backed Silent Boss went two better from his unlucky last-start third to open his account in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1400m on Sunday.
The son of Street Boss actually blundered at the 400m mark of his last outing in a 1200m race on September 10, but recovered to still finish a laudable third to Mr Clint.
Ridden again by Mauritian jockey Nooresh Juglall and a little further back this time – seventh and one-off the rails - the three-year-old colt unwound with a smart turn of foot when switched out the widest upon straightening.
Upfront, Don De La Vega (Barend Vorster) was being hailed the winner after he took over from the tiring Hero In The Wind (Derreck David) and Big Wave (Ng Choon Kiat), the two early playmakers, but was bettered by the John O’Hara-trained Silent Boss ($16) by half-a-length on the line.
Favourite Flash (Manoel Nunes) was the hard luck story of the race, bringing another evidence marble one does not always translate to numero uno at the wire.
After a moderate start, the James Peters-trained English-bred was able to muster speed to rail through to a handy third spot on the fence. As economical as the run was, Flash was hopelessly cooped up with nowhere to go for the top half of the straight.
By the time he extricated himself, the cliché the bird had already flown again rang true. He could only settle for third place another 2 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 22.64secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.
Juglall said he had been brimming with enough confidence on the strength of Silent Boss’s last start, but was a bit concerned about the Short Course.
“If he didn’t clip heels at his last start, he should have won,” said Juglall, pulling no punches.
“Today with the extra 200m, I was quite confident he could win. My only worry was the Short Course; he takes his time to wind up and he would have been happier over the Long Course.
“He is looking for more ground, and I would say 1600m to 1800m would be good for him. A big thank you to (owner) Constance Cheng and Stephen (O’Hara’s assistant-trainer Crutchley).
“The job was done at home, I was just the rider on the day.”
Crutchley said the quieter tactics turned to be the winning formula for the Toast Trusts & J Ho-owned colt.
“He clipped heels behind the Mark Walker horse (Shamrock) horse at his last start. I expected he would have finished closer to the winner without that,” said the New Zealander.
“He’s got big strides and the key to him is to let him find his feet. Once he found open space, he was able to finish off well.
“The longer trip suited him today, and a bit further will suit him even better.”