At first glance, the impressive debut winner The Bullet looked like he was living up to his name as he whizzed around with a massive lead at the Kranji barrier trials yesterday, but there was still a glitch at the start – he was a fraction slow.
The Deep Field three-year-old, however, quickly mustered speed to show his six rivals a clean set of heels all the way into the straight.
Runner-up Kassab (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) eventually cut him back to three-quarter lengths at the line. But that was less of a concern than his barrier manners for both Fitzsimmons and jockey Manoel Nunes.
“We still need to do a bit of work on his start,” said Fitzsimmons.
“This morning, he jumped a bit better than at his last trial when he missed the start by about half a length.
“He’s still a bit green as we saw at his win. He does a few things wrong, he got a bit wayward in the home straight.
“But today, the blinkers straightened him up. I was not worried about the other horse closing in late as Nunes had done enough on him, and eased down on him. He definitely had a decent blow.”
Fitzsimmons, who tops the Singapore trainer’s table with 18 winners, has pencilled in another speed dash next week for The Bullet’s second-up run.
It is a Class 4 race over 1,000m on April 17, but he also explained the rationale behind the two barrier trials two weeks apart.
“We actually planned to run him last week in the Class 4, 1,000m (won by Hotshots Slam), and he trialled the week before, but he then had a slight viral setback,” said Fitzsimmons, who owns a minor share in The Bullet with the Buffalo Stable.
“We then decided to give him an extra week. That’s why he trialled again today, and he trialled really well. He needed it.”
Nunes joined the Australian handler in giving the thumbs up to the hit-out run in 1min 0.49sec, but not full marks for his getaways.
“He trialled very good this morning. He trialled the week before with Oscar Chavez as I was not around and could not ride him, but I was told he was too fresh that day,” said the Brazilian jockey.
“It’s inside the gates that I’m more worried for him. He’s very nervous, and that’s why he was slow at his last trial.
“At his first race, he had the blindfold on and jumped okay, but he’s a very straightforward horse. Once he gets into his stride, he will speed up and gallop.
“Today, I wanted him to again use his natural speed to go forward. But as he trialled two weeks ago, I didn’t want him to do too much, and that’s why I eased him up. He’s still learning what racing is all about, but he has a lot of ability.
Yesterday’s Kranji barrier trial results:
1 Boomba (M Nunes)
2 Super Extreme (M Ewe)
3 Lim’s Straight (D Beasley)
4 Tassel (R Stewart)
5 Gold City
6 Harvest Time (I Saifudin)
7 Eunos Ave Three
Margins and time: 1/2, 10, 5 1/2, 3/4, 123/4, hd (1min 00.21 sec)
1 Gold Star (K A’Isisuhairi)
2 Sky Eye (S Shafrizal)
3 Ararat Lady (Nunes)
4 Spirit Of Big Bang (L Beuzelin)
5 Lim’s Lightning (Beasley)
6 Minister (F Yusoff)
7 Mr Malek (WH Kok)
8 Webster (CC Wong)
Margins and time: NS, 1/2, 6 1/2, 3/4, 1/2, 1/2, 61/2 (59. 04 sec)
1 The Bullet (Nunes)
2 Kassab (Beuzelin)
3 Angel Baby (M Kellady)
4 Rocketship (Beasley)
5 Clergyman (M Lerner)
6 Bright Era
7 Lord Of Wind (M Ewe)
Margins and time: 3/4, 5 3/4, 1 1/2, 2, 4 3/4, 7 1/2 (1:00.49)
1 King Zoustar (Nunes)
2 Street Of Dreams (Kok)
3 No More Delay (Beasley)
4 Ealami (Beuzelin)
5 Nomvula (T Krisna)
6 Captain Legacy (A’Isisuhairi)
7 Fight To Victory
8 Leggenda (Ewe)
Margins and time: NK, 2 1/4, ns, 1 1/2, hd, 2 3/4, 10 (1:00.43)