Trainer Michael Clements looks to have unearthed another promising galloper after Northern Boss took out the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Sunday.
Ridden by Ivaldo Santana, the New Zealand-bred galloper may have been making his Kranji bow but looked an experienced hand as he produced a dominant display to lead from start-to-finish and beat Hermano Menor (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) by two-and-a-half lengths. Well adrift and a further six lengths back in third was Ninetysevensuccess (Manoel Nunes).
Purchased for NZ$50,000 at the New Zealand Sales last year, Northern Boss was placed under Clements care in February and the Zimbabwean-born handler has been clocking overtime with the Postponed three-year-old bay gelding.
Northern Boss (Ivaldo Santana) wins on debut in Race 2 on Sunday.
“It’s taken a bit of time to prepare him,” said Clements. “He’s had four trials before today and he was improving after each and strengthening up but he’s a slow developer and not an early type.”
His restraint and patience was richly rewarded though as Northern Boss ($35) burst from the blocks and easily made a mockery of his wide barrier (gate 10) to swing around and seized the initiative within a few strides while $13 favourite Ninetysevensuccess was left to rue a disastrous jump which ultimately cost Nunes and trainer Michael Freedman the race. The winning time on the Polytrack was 1min 11.91secs.
With a clear lead and breathing space between him and his near challengers, Northern Boss never relinquished his advantage and after beating Hermano Menor at a barrier trial late last month, he repeated that trick against the Steven Burridge-trained galloper, with rider A’Isisuhairi still agonizing over the arrival of his 100th Kranji winner.
“To be honest I don’t think it was a very strong trial by him but the way he did his work was impressive and to win first-up today was pretty impressive,” said Clements, who notched his 33rd winner this term from just 249 runners for a strike rate of over 13 per cent.
“Based on his pedigree I think it’s only a matter of time before he is able to go over further distances.”
Continuing his recent purple patch was Santana, who has bagged 13 winners since August 1 and is the country’s most in-form rider.
After a double on Friday, the Brazilian now moves up to 41 winners this season and while compatriot Nunes’ lead at the top of the premiership looks pretty much unassailable, finishing runners-up is well within reach for Santana.
“The momentum is very important and any winner, any day, is a good thing. Of course my goal has been to get into the top five (he is currently sixth and just four winners behind fifth-placed John Powell) but I want to be the champion and hopefully the more winners I get the more support I’ll get as well,” he said.
“This was a nice horse who will get better and once he got to the front it was very comfortable, a very easy win.”
The T & C Stable-owned galloper picks up around $42,000 in stakes earnings for his delighted connections with this debut success.