Trainer Shane Baertschiger joked he would have a strong word with his two stable jockeys John Powell and Matthew Kellady after they gave him “only” a stable quinella aboard Red Symphony and Ladrone, split by a short head on Sunday.
The Australian handler trailed Freedman by four winners before the $45,000 Spalato 2015 Stakes, a Class 4 Non Premier race over 1200m. Red Symphony’s win cuts it back to three winners, but if the two stablemates had dead-heated, he would have been only a couple off!
“I will give both of them a spray. If they had dead-heated, it would have been two wins for me instead of one,” said Baertschiger in mock indignation.
Red Symphony (John Powell, blue cap) pips stablemate Ladrone (Matthew Kellady, obscured)
to score his first win at Kranji, picture Singapore Turf Club
“Seriously, it’s great to get the 1-2. At his last start, Red Symphony did not like the shifty track (12th to Reddot Rising in a similar Class 4 Non Premier race but over 1400m).
“I gave him a good chance today. The Long Course was against the other horse (Ladrone).”
Between the Baertschiger duo, the market was more skewed towards Ladrone ($14 second-favourite), but Red Symphony ($57) was by no means the second-stringer with zero hope, even if the hitherto maiden galloper’s last-start 12th place would not have drawn too many admirers.
Baertschiger’s assistant-trainer Scott Bailey said the order could have been reversed, not that it would have really mattered who gives the yard another notch on the log when a stable queue-up is the sure outcome.
“Ladrone got taken on by Shafrizal’s (Saleh) horse (Perfect Commando). He’s a horse you can’t hold back or he gets fired up,” said Bailey.
“That probably softened him up, but all credit to JP who rode the other horse a treat.”
Powell had the five-year-old son of Moshe in a perfect one-out one-back position, only waiting for the last 200m to let rip.
Big bobber Sun Hancock (Mohd Zaki) tried to put a dent in the margin at the 300m, but Ladrone fended him off easily. He had not reckoned with his own stable companion, who steadily wore him down to blouse him right at the last stride.
Favourite Paperback Trooper (Ryan Curatolo) had to cut back to the rails for his move, but either he was field-shy or just incapable of pegging back the Baertschiger duo, he could only settle for fourth place a short head off Sun Hancock. The winning time was 1min 10.51secs for the 1200m on the Long Course.
“His trackwork has been so positive that I would have been disappointed if he didn’t run a place today,” said Powell.
“I was able to place him in the first four or five, and he was always travelling comfortably for me.
“I didn’t want him to hit the front too soon at the 350m. He was good enough to win and it’s great it was a stable quinella in the end.”
A one-time winner (1000m at Warracknabeal) from only one start for Melbourne champion trainer Darren Weir when known as Moshquito, Red Symphony has taken his local stakes earnings close to the $40,000 mark for the More Stable.