Shogun, Chopin cut from same plain cloth, Boss

Kranji’s new pin-up youngster Chopin’s Fantaisie has not reached the heights of a Shogun Lodge, Australia’s former top miler in the early 2000s, by any stretch of the imagination, but jockey Glen Boss has seen a common trait between the two even if barely knows him.

They are both “unassuming” horses, said the Australian Hall of Fame jockey, who guided the Bob Thomsen-trained Shogun Lodge to two of his three Group 1 wins, both back at Randwick in Sydney, the 2000 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and the 2001 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

And Boss straightaway picked up that idiosyncrasy after he was legged up on the unbeaten galloper trained by Michael Clements in trackwork only once.

Chopin's Fantaisie will get a stand-in partner in Glen Boss this Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

Boss is filling in for Chopin’s Fantaisie’s regular partner Vlad Duric who begins a two-meeting careless riding ban (for his ride aboard Champagne Rein) this weekend. He is booked to ride the Pins three-year-old in Sunday’s $60,000 Open Benchmark 67 race over 1400m.

“I’m warming the saddle for Vlad on Chopin’s Fantaisie this Sunday, but it sure is an exciting horse to ride,” said Boss.

“I rode him in work last week and he’s a very lovely horse. He’s very unassuming and that’s the mark of a good racehorse.

“He gives no feeling at all, he feels very plain. I like this kind of horse as they save themselves for raceday.

“I’ve ridden a lot of horses like that and the one that springs to mind was Shogun Lodge. He was so similar in his mannerism, he would just potter around in trackwork but in races, he’s a different animal.”

Boss was among the beaten brigade at the last two of Chopin’s Fantaisie’s trio of wins, and could not wait to be the one sitting atop and hopefully, showing the rest a clean set of heels this Sunday.

“Obviously, when they asked me if I was available for the ride, I didn’t need to be asked twice,” he said.

“I’ve seen the way he won his races. He’s obviously still green and still has a lot to learn, but he’s definitely going in the right direction.

“The way he’s going, I’m sure he’ll get even better over 1600m.”

Chopin’s Fantaisie has not won by bigger margins than one length at his three victories, but has certainly given a good glimpse of his vast potential.

His last win probably gave those with cardiac issues the biggest test thus far. The even-money favourite looked trapped in an air-tight pocket at a crucial stage of the race, but Duric patiently waited until a gap finally opened up, allowing the engine to roar back to life.

The Jubilant Racing Stable-owned gelding is likely to start at short odds this Sunday, especially as the field does not look overly strong, although the likes of Paltrow, Supernova, Effortless and En Civil will do their utmost to give him a bit of a fight at some stage.

“The horse has pulled up well. I asked Glen to ride him in the 1600m race but it was cancelled,” said Clements.

“Glen rode him in trackwork and was happy with him. The field is not very strong and we expect him to go well.”