Newcomer Quadcopter took off to a brilliant winning debut for the bang-in-form duo of Hideyuki Takaoka-Olivier Placais in the $85,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Friday night.
The three-year-old ridgling by Zoustar had not really set the barrier trials alight, but was a different proposition for the Singapore Derby-winning pair on raceday. Sent out at lukewarm odds of $56, Quadcopter, who races in Derby winner Jupiter Gold’s colours, showed an abundance of speed from his widest gate to take up the running after a brief speed battle with Silver Joy (Nooresh Juglall) and King Zoustar (Craig Grylls).
Placais then had a fairly cosy time at the head of affairs, until the first salvo of attack came hailing from Nadeem Sapphire (Alysha Collett) who almost drew on level terms upon straightening.
Quadcopter (Olivier Placais) makes every post a winning one at his debut on Friday, picture Singapore Turf Club
The question how much petrol was left in Quadcopter’s tank was going to be answered. It turned out it was enough to give him a second wind when Placais flicked on the afterburners to full blast at the 300m.
Undeterred, Nadeem Sapphire kept chipping away at the margin, but the leader would just not get chopped down, even as a more menacing threat loomed on the outside: Revolution (Daniel Moor).
The trio lunged at the post with Quadcopter hanging on by half-a-length from Revolution with Nadeem Sapphire third another short head away. The winning time was 1min 10.7secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.
Takaoka said Quadcopter did show some flashes of ability during his preparation, but his greenness could not give way to the greatest optimism first-up.
“I was not very confident he would run well at his first race. He’s still very green,” said the Japanese mentor.
“But he did show some speed at his barrier trials. The only problem was the outside barrier, but I told Olivier he had no other choice but to try and go forward, and it worked.”
Placais jumped off saying Quadcopter was not easy to pilot, but it was certainly compensated by a nice engine.
“It was not the plan to lead, but as nobody went to the front, we did and I just hoped he would be good enough to go all the way,” said Placais who has ridden two thirds of Takaoka’s haul of 25 winners this year.
“We weren’t sure how he would go as he’s a new horse and is still very green. He’s actually a difficult horse to ride and I had to keep him straight in the race.
“I was scared at the 100m when Alysha’s horse came up on my outside, but my horse kept sprinting nicely to the line.”