Trainer Michael Freedman was rapt he was able to saddle Texan Takeover to a dominant debut win for the Segenhoe Stud on Friday night.
The arrival of the former Melbourne-based gelding in his yard is the result of a chance encounter with the New South Wales stud’s owner Kevin Maloney at a ski holiday in Canada last year.
The conversation between the two horsemen at the Whistler ski resort inevitably gravitated around horse racing in Singapore as they did team up with three-time winner Wallinger (now Vellfire) in a not too-distant past, and a new deal was soon struck between the two parties.
Jockey Joao Moreira guides Texan Takeover to an impressive debut victory on Friday.
Texan Takeover ($14) got the renewed Freedman-Segenhoe association back on track when he made the $55,000 Class 4 race over 1100m on Polytrack almost a one-act affair.
Travelling outside the leader – which was switched between Alpha Dynamic (Alan Munro) and then Perwira (Soo Khoon Beng) – from the jump, the Stravinsky four-year-old easily got the upperhand at the top of the straight to scoot off to an easy 4 ¾ length-win from Alpha Dynamic.
Baby Face (Subramaniam Anandan) ran third another 1 ¼ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 4.94secs.
“It’s very pleasing to see this horse win at debut as it’s my first winner for Kevin Maloney, whom I bumped into at Whistler last December,” recalled Freedman.
“Kevin just recently acquired Segenhoe in NSW as he’s been making a lot of big investments in Australian racing. We had a beer and he said he would send me a horse to Singapore.
“Bill Mitchell, his racing manager, rang me up one day and told me this horse (Texan Takeover) would be ideal for Singapore.
“I had a look at his form. He’s had five starts for two wins in provincial races and I thought he’d be right.
“He was meant to have his debut a couple of weeks ago. I was in South Africa then when (assistant-trainer) James (Peters) rang me to tell me he shifted a shoe.
“He was a bit tender on it and we thought it’d be better not to take any chances. He’s won very well today and he looks like he can go over 1400m.”
Texan Takeover was ridden by leading jockey Joao Moreira, who was at his first winning ride since coming back from his successful one-ride visit to Sweden last Sunday.