Filibuster mends her ways and wins on debut

Months of painstaking schooling at the pens bore fruit for capable filly Filibuster at her racing debut on Friday night.

The Australian-bred Ilovethiscity three-year-old has given her minders and handlers alike plenty of headache - and aching arms - at the barriers since she was put in work around five months ago.

Even her original debut on August 13 had to be put off after she got fractious in her stalls and got cast. More barrier classes awaited and two months later, trainer Cliff Brown was satisfied his “naughty girl” could finally be thrown in at the deep end.

Filibuster (Manoel Nunes) makes every post a winning one at her debut on Friday night, picture Singapore Turf Club

Brown actually had another debutant in the gloriously-named Harveywallbanger in the $75,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1100m, but it was clearly his filly who drew more admirers ($19 against $103), even if Ricardo Le Grange’s Sattar was a firm favourite ($9) after his close second to Dutrow at his last outing, her barrier second and win helping in a big way no doubt.

Bounced out of her outermost alley (10) by jockey Manoel Nunes, Filibuster darted straight to the lead where she took control of matters, even enjoying a breather midrace before parting company at the top of the straight.

Crown Gift (Benny Woodworth) tried to keep up with the fleet-footed filly, but could not quite match her strides. It was $146 longshot Destroyer Eclipse (Craig Grylls) who in the end cut back a little on the margin to run second three and a half lengths away with Crown Gift third another half-a-length away.

The winning time was 1min 4.89secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.

“She’s always shown ability but she’s been a very naughty girl,” said Brown.

“I’d like to thank the two Singapore Turf Club starters John Pepe and Damien Kinninmont for the enormous job they have done on her at the barriers, as well as my assistant-trainer Tim Fitzsimmons, and my track riders Sabri and Shafiq.

“It’s taken weeks and months - three months all-up - to get her right, and for her to win first-up when she is still so green is a big positive.

“She is owned by the same owners as Divided House. It’s great to train another winner for them.”

Nunes said he had not jumped aboard Filibuster in trackwork but was given the low-down from Brown and fellow jockey Michael Rodd who rode her once in a barrier trial.

“I had a chat with Michael and Cliff. They told me she has been a problem at the barriers, but she had a lot of ability,” said the Brazilian jockey.

“She was scratched at the barriers at her last start. The boys know her well and have done a great job with her.

“After only 50m, she was very green and she stayed like that for most of the race, but she is a very nice filly.”