New partners for Clements' Jumbo Jet duo
A rousing hit-out at the barrier trials on Thursday had Alibi nicely tuned up for his impending racing comeback in the Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) next Sunday week.
The Darci Brahma five-year-old was one of the stars of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, securing the first two Legs over 1400m and 1600m, but finding the 2000m of the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby a little beyond him.
Trainer Michael Clements has since tipped out the valiant galloper, but from the way he came off a slow start in the barrier trial to slice through the field for a smart second place to Poseidon, it would appear most of the cobwebs has been blown away.
The entire had new partner Manoel Nunes in the saddle in the barrier trial.
Assistant-trainer Michael White could not have been happier with the way the Group 1 Patrons’ Bowl (1600m) winner has come through his new prep.
“He went great considering he had a hard prep,” said White.
“He had 10 days off after a tough Derby in which he did what he could. At the 400m, Glen (Boss) thought he would run 10th, but he ran fourth on courage even though he just didn’t run the trip.
“It’s always a query how they come back after such a tough run, but this horse always gives you 150%.
“A mile would have been too far for a first-up run. The 1400m of the Jumbo Jet Trophy next week is ideal.”
White said they did not have to do much on Alibi to bring him back to his peak.
“He is a horse who always has great fitness, he does it all by himself. He won’t be underdone coming into his comeback race,” said White.
“He’s got a good first-up record, too. All he needed was one trial, and today he was very relaxed to the line.
“On the scales, he is the same, but he actually looks tougher, especially around the top line.
“It’s going to be a very tough Jumbo Jet, but he should go well.”
Among the tough field White was referring to, one of them could possibly be their former star three-year-old Countofmontecristo, who recently made a slashing winning comeback as a four-year-old in a Benchmark 97 race over 1200m on August 20 – but complete with a major riding change, just like Alibi.
“Countofmontecristo may get a run, too,” said White.
“He may not be well in at the weights on his rating, but we always felt he was a much better horse, very progressive, and he deserves to have a crack.”
With both Alibi and Countofmontecristo lining up, a headache was looming for their regular partner Glen Boss, but it was all sorted in the end.
“Bossy won’t be riding either as he is going back to Australia to attend a good friend’s wedding,” said White.
“He would have ridden Countofmontecristo as he feels that is the horse with the more scope whereas Alibi is already up there. So, we got the next best available and it’s Alan Munro who will ride Countofmontecristo in the Jumbo Jet.
“But Bossy will be back on Countofmontecristo in the Kranji Mile.”