Unbeaten New Zealand newcomer Heartlight kept up the same winning trend even after moving to a new country with an impressive victory on debut at Kranji on Sunday.
When racing as Crossedem for trainer Stephen Marsh, the Any Suggestion three-year-old won at his only start in New Zealand, in a 1200m race at Avondale on November 10, before he was sold to Singapore.
Now known as Heartlight and prepared by Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker, the grey gelding showed he had not lost any of that precocious potential at his new base when he quickened through the Class 4 Non Premier field in the opening race over 1200m and worth $45,000.
Heartlight (Vlad Duric) off to a smart winning debut at Kranji, picture Singapore Turf Club
Ridden by Vlad Duric and settled in an ideal fifth spot behind the speed, Heartlight, who was backed down to $15 favouritism, was clearly a cut above when he was peeled to the outside at the top of the straight. Showing great balance, he easily pulled away to a one-and-a-half length win from longshot Paragon Star (Benny Woodworth) with the well-backed Gain Eclipse (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) in third place another short head away.
The winning time was 1min 10.31secs for the 1200m on the Short Course.
“He did everything right today and he got a gun ride from Vlad,” said Walker.
“I think he was in a weaker Class 4 race, but still, it is always hard to win first-up. He’s got a nice future here.”
Heartlight has already hit the ground running for his new connections, the Better Times Stable, with a first winning cheque of around $25,000.
“He’s a lazy horse in the morning, very shuffly. It’s hard to get a good gauge on him,” said Duric.
“But Mark told me he won his race in New Zealand very impressively. He gave me a beautiful ride right through.
“He got a bit tired at the finish, but that was his first run and he will get even better after that.”