Top Australian jockey Glen Boss jumped off with a rave report on Speedy Dragon following a third place in a barrier trial on Thursday, a little over a week ahead of his maiden Group raid.
“It was the first time I sat on his back as it’s normally Salim (Yusoff) who gallops him,” said Boss.
“He had a good jump and went really well. I didn’t know what to expect from him, but he gave me a really good feel today.
“He’s had quite a few trials under the belt and he’s really up to the mark.”
Glen Boss is the new partner for Speedy Dragon, picture Singapore Turf Club
The talented US-bred sprinter has long come across as Group material what with six wins in only 14 runs despite an injury-plagued career (knee chips), but that day has taken a little longer to come to fruition, probably due to the often-interrupted campaigns.
Still, trainer David Kok and owner Jason Goh have shown the patience of Job with Rapido Boy’s half- brother (both out of Yen), and the results have vindicated their decision not to rush him.
Noted for his precociousness from Day 1, Speedy Dragon made his local debut as a two-year-old in November 2014 and with his runs well spaced out, it is only now at his fourth season that he will contest in a feature race, next Sunday’s $200,000 Group 3 Rocket Man Sprint (1200m), the second Leg of the Singapore Sprint Series, which was until last year known as the Kranji Sprint.
With the Rocket Man Sprint being a handicap race, questions still abound how much weight Speedy Dragon, who at 89 is likely to be among the higher-rated gallopers, will get.
“It’ll be interesting to see what weight he will carry,” said Boss who won the Group 1 Patron’s Bowl (1600m) aboard Kok’s and Goh’s Well Done last year and has since struck a lasting association with them, especially Kok.
“If Emperor Max (114) runs, he will be the topweight, but if he doesn’t, there is a chance Speedy Dragon may be the topweight. We’ll have a better idea next week.”
Regardless of the weight the handicapper gives Speedy Dragon in the Rocket Man Sprint, Kok cannot use a claimer in a Group 3 race, anyway, as they are not allowed to claim. He has already locked in Boss’s name, but did recognise the good work done by his apprentice jockey Salim with a ride at Speedy Dragon’s first-up run from an eight-month break when a closing second to Nova Swiss.
“Bossy will ride him in the Rocket Man Sprint. He was very happy with his trial this morning,” said Kok.
“But all credit should go to Salim. He’s the one who rides him all the time and he’s really done a great job to teach him to relax better.
“Speedy Dragon used to be keen when he jumps, but he is a lot more relaxed now, and we saw that in today’s trial as well. He’s settled down a lot.
“The turf is not really an issue even if he is better known as a Polytrack horse. He’s won on turf at his only start on it (on September 20, 2015).
“His knee chips are behind him now. He’s in great shape and we can only hope he runs well on Sunday.”