Patience finally paid off for the connections of Flying Wild when the Flying Pegasus three-year-old opened his account in style on Friday night.
The Brian Dean-trained gelding had failed to score let alone run a place in six outings since his debut a year ago, and was understandably neglected ($131) in the market of the $35,000 Maiden race over 1200m.
The wide gate (10) did not help matters but after settling in mid-division for jockey Ivaldo Santana, Flying Wild shaped up as a strong chance as he strode up down the middle to hit the front at the 300m.
Flying Wild scores a strong win under Ivaldo Santana, picture Singpore Turf Club
Spanish Train (Barend Vorster) and Afternoon Delight (Andy Ismail) tried to gather him in but to no avail. The well-backed Tenuponten (Saifudin Ismail) on the outside looked like the only one who could topple him at the 100m, but the gangly gelding trained by John O’Hara proved difficult to assist as he laid in under pressure.
In the end, Flying Wind secured a comfortable 2 ¾ length win over Tenuponten with Spanish Train third another neck away. The winning time was 1min 11.94secs.
Dean, who part-owns the black brown gelding, said he had expected a forward showing after his Monday hitout.
“On his work on Monday, I gave him a chance. He ran the last 600m in 34 seconds with his head on his chest,” said the Australian handler.
“He had only 51kg on his back, but the only question mark was the outside barrier.
“But he had a clear run in the straight and hit the line very well. He’s done a great job tonight considering he was very immature at the beginning.
“I gave him a break and he’s come back good. I’ve put the blinkers on him but he was doing the job half-way through.
“That’s why I changed them to winkers tonight – just so he is more focused, and it’s done the trick.”
Flying Wild’s success brings Santana’s score up to the 17-win mark, level with Barend Vorster but in sixth spot on a countback for seconds.