By Michael Lee – Two weeks after a former Godophin galloper trained by James Cummings in Australia, Barbeque, scored on debut at Kranji, another ex-Blue Army boy from the same team, has followed suit in the opening event of Good Friday’s meeting.
While Barbeque (x Helmet), a three-time winner in Australia, was bought over by TeAkau Racing Stable for trainer Mark Walker, Siam Warrior (x Exceed And Excel), who was known as just Siam in Australia, was bought over by Javen See of Middle Kingdom Stable for trainer James Peters.
A two-time winner at Wyong (1200m) and Kembla Grange (1200m) in country New South Wales, Siam Warrior gave a peek of his potential at his two Kranji barrier trial thirds, and wasted no time in franking that form at his debut in the $50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1100m.
Stalking up the speedy Astra (Benny Woodworth), Siam Warrior (Ben Thompson), who was sent off the $13 favourite by punters, shot to the front as Astra disappeared from the race upon straightening but had to contend with a sticky Super Six (Daniel Moor) up the entire length of the homestretch.
Probably weary-legged in the concluding stages given his lack of race fitness first-up (last race was at Warwick Farm in October), Peters’ newcomer still hung on gamely to score with half-a-length to spare from Super Six. Effortless (Riduan Abu Bakar) ran third another 1 ¾ lengths away. The winning time was 1min 6.12secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.
“We bought him at the Magic Millions Ready-To-Run sales where Darley was selling some of their horses. We met the guy there and Jayven See was instrumental in getting that horse,” said Peters.
“I watched his races in Australia and he was ridden back and quiet, but he did show some pace.
“He does everything so easy. My only concern was the 1100m might be sharp first-up but he’s got a bit of class.
“I think he can go up to Class 3.”
Thompson said that Godolphin polish on Siam Warrior gave him the extra confidence he would put in a smart performance on debut.
“I had the benefit of riding him in one of his trials. His trials spoke for themselves,” said the Australian jockey.
“He was well prepared by James whose yard is really in form at the moment. It’s good to ride a winner for them.
“He was the superior horse in the field. He had 11 starts for two wins as a four-year-old, so he was pretty mature. I rode him where he was comfortable and he was too good.”
“I was hoping Astra, Benny’s horse would take me longer into the straight. As soon as he felt the second horse, he switched on again.”