If Boomba was not fully screwed down at his first-up run at Kranji, Tuesday’s barrier trials definitely saw a more tightened version emerge as an easy winner in his heat.
The Group 3 Singapore Golden Horseshoe (1200m) winner ran a moderate sixth with leading jockey Marc Lerner up in the Class 4 1200m race on April 10. It was his first race since the two-year-old feature victory in early December.
Champion jockey Vlad Duric was the new partner in the irons at Tuesday’s hit-out where, after coming off a one-out one-back spot, he whipped around runners three wide as he spun the bend before mowing down stablemate, new filly Teardrops (Lerner) for a 1 ¾-length win in 1min 0.18secs.
Boomba showed significant improvement at his barrier trial on Tuesday, picture Singapore Turf Club
Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons said he was not too disappointed with Boomba’s unplaced effort considering the Showcasing three-year-old had not raced for more than four months.
Besides the cobwebs setting in, the in-form Australian handler felt the circumstances of the race also worked against the gelding, whom he was saddling for the first time since he arrived from his ex-boss Cliff Brown’s (who returned to Australia in March) yard.
“He ran okay, he missed the start and was slow away. He was on the backfoot from there on in, and he blew out,” said Fitzsimmons.
“But as he had not raced for a while, that race did him a world of good. It has really brought him right on.
“Marc did nothing wrong that day. Vlad has had a good association with (owner) Glenn (Whittenbury of Barree Stable) and Inferno, and he got the ride, he really liked the horse this morning.”
The Singapore champion jockey jumped off Boomba after that barrier trial with a big thumbs-up sign.
“He went really well. He was nice, bright and fresh,” said the Australian jockey.
“He settled really nicely behind the speed, and when I gave him a squeeze, he went through the line really well.
“He’s taken plenty of benefit from that first run, and I think he’ll improve at his next start in that Class 4 race. He should be hard to beat in Class 4.”
Fitzsimmons has entered the two-time winner in the Class 4 race over 1200m on turf next Saturday week.
Meanwhile, he will be keen to see the racing debut of a horse with a lineage he is not unfamiliar with, Den Of Thieves.
The El Roca three-year-old, who contests Sunday’s $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1200m, is a half-brother of Brown’s former 2019 Singapore champion four-year-old mare What’s New (x Casino Prince) being both by UK-bred Oasis Dream mare Pussycat Dream.
In two barrier trials, Den Of Thieves ran last first off before finishing at the other end at the second one on April 27.
Fitzsimmons would obviously love to see the younger brother follow into the hoofsteps of the 2019 Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) and 2019 Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) winner (first two Legs of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge), but will wait for a couple of runs to have a better idea if ability runs in the family.
“He’s a nice horse who has taken a bit of time,” said Fitzsimmons who has booked Oscar Chavez on Den Of Thieves for that first run.
“He will benefit a lot from that first run as he’s not the full package yet. He’s still quite green.
“It’s too early to tell if he has the same qualities as What’s New, but they both have great temperament.
“I think he’ll also appreciate the step-up over further, up to a mile like his half-sister.”