Jockey Joao Moreira could not have wished for a better start to Friday night’s meeting when he landed a double in the opening two races.
After winning the opener aboard Anavila in the $55,000 Class 4 Stakes over 1000m on the Polytrack he was quickly back in the thick of things when riding the $8 favourite Straight Up to victory in the $65,000 Initiation Stakes over 1600m on the turf.
After settling just beyond midfield, Straight Up unleashed a powerful finish to record a three-quarter length victory over The Rude Warrior (Stephen Baster) with Prize Fighter (Barend Vorster) a half-length back in third place.
Champion jockey Joao Moreira lands an early double with Straight Up on Friday.
Moreira said Straight Up has the makings of developing into a handy galloper.
“He’s a nice horse. We got into a nice position during the race and he responded really well when I started to push him along,” said Moreira.
“I had to get going on him early as the pace was not very fast. He travelled well throughout and he showed a very good turn of foot.”
Trainer Laurie Laxon also believes the four-year-old has a promising future and believes he could develop into a Emirates Singapore Derby prospect in July.
“He’s got a bit of substance about him,” said Laxon. “He’s done a good job tonight.
“It is never easy to win second-up over a mile and carry 58kg. The way he won tonight I think he will certainly get a bit further.
“He should keep on improving and if he keeps developing the way I think he will then he may be a Derby horse for us in the middle of the year.”
Straight Up was sent to Singapore following four starts in New Zealand which netted him a second and two third placings.
By Handsome Ransom from the Exploding Prospect mare Regelle, Straight Up is raced by Robin Stent and has won more than $45,000 in prizemoney from his two starts in Singapore after collecting NZ$3700 from his three placings in New Zealand.