Polytrack specialist Silkino showed where his strongest suit really lay after he made all with panache in the $60,000 Australian Turf Club Trophy, a Class 4 Premier race over 1100m on Friday.
Not so much the all-weather surface. We all know the Congrats four-year-old took only three cracks at turf in 21 starts – with dismal results.
It’s more the distance that is the determining factor. Silkino has now registered all his three wins over 1100m.
Silkino fell in by one length from Snip (Mohd Firdaus) with Soldado (John Powell) third another 1 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 5.34secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
Silkino (Olivier Placais) makes it an all-the-way win in Race 3, picture Singapore Turf Club
Trainer David Hill did not fail to highlight that preference at the post-race interview, saying he had no other choice but to chuck him in 1000m speed scampers at times, but they were not really his cup of tea.
“He’s always been a consistent horse. He always runs well,” he said.
“Oli (Placais) controlled the race well from the front and he just kept going. The 1100m is better for him, I tried him over 1000m but there was no other option because the programme is pathetic.”
Known for his direct no-nonsense style, Hill actually instructed Placais not to go forward on Silkino ($31) from the wide alley (8), but the Frenchman somehow went the other way - not because he was in a mood to cop a spray from the English handler.
The Conductor, as Placais is popularly known due to his distinctive whip-wielding action, may even be given a second nickname after he showed he had more than one string to his bow: Impressionist.
“David actually told me before the race not to lead. But the pace was too slow, and I found myself in front!” said Placais as he proceeded to impersonate Hill.
“I could already see David in my head shouting: ‘Don’t go in front! Don’t go in front!
“I had no other choice and decided to let him go. I was able to give him a breather midrace and he gave a good kick in the straight.
“I could feel the other horse (Snip) cutting us back, but he actually never took any centimetres off my horse.”
With that third win and previous seven placings chalked up in 22 outings, Silkino has now seen his stakes earnings tip over the $200,000 mark for one of the oldest outfits in Singapore, the Ace-In-The-Hole Stable.