The Raffles Racing Stable seems to be enjoying a new lease of life after debutant Star Choice (StarCraft x Choices Are) scored on debut on Friday.
Placed from three starts in New Zealand, the Starcraft four-year-old got right on the scoresheet at his Singapore debut in the $65,000 Initiation race over 1400m, coming from a midfield spot in transit to produce the best finish inside the last 300m.
Ridden by Manoel Nunes, Star Choice defeated Mr Streisand (Elione Chaves) by one length with Falkirk Lead (Matthew Kellady) again unlucky when she copped a check at the start and around the home turn to still rattle home for third place another ¾ length away.
The winning time was 1min 23.2secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.
Star Choice had two barrier trials under the belt at Kranji before making his debut, running fourth and third, somehow overlooked by most even Nunes to a certain extent, but not by trainer Bruce Marsh.
“It was a lovely trial considering he ran over a bit of a distance with blinkers in New Zealand,” said Marsh.
“On that trial and his work, I gave him a chance and I’m not that surprised he won tonight.
“It’s good for the owners. Viviano is another one who won first-up for them.
“Hopefully, they send more horses to us in the near future.”
Nunes said he was at first not all that bowled over by his barrier trial but Marsh had explained to him not to expect any brilliance in the way he ran.
“All credit to the trainer, Bruce ‘rode’ him in the trials,” said the Brazilian jockey in his own jocular nod to the former Melbourne Cup-winning rider’s shrewd horse sense.
“To me, he didn’t show much in the trials over the Polytrack, but Bruce told me he was a stayer and in his race tonight, to ride him like one.
“When he jumped, I just dropped him in midfield and kept him balanced where he was happy to be.
“He was always travelling very comfortably and when I took him out he finished it off very well. He’s done a good job first-up over 1400m especially as he had 58kgs on his back.”
Star Choice is a graduate of Trelawney Stud's 2013 NZB draft where he sold for $85,000.