Trainer Stephen Gray is banking on a return to turf for Infinite Wisdom to showcase his true ability in the $125,000 Group 3 Singapore Golden Horseshoe (1200m) on Saturday.
The son of All Too Hard was well backed second-up following his convincing all-the-way debut win in a Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on turf on August 30. Singapore champion apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong was aboard at both starts.
But the passage was less smooth this time around in the Novice 1200m race on Polytrack on September 19. After he was made to work hard on the outside of Gold Prize to find the lead, he eventually buckled under pressure in the home straight to run fourth to Brutus.
Gray still saw merit in the run given the all-weather is not Infinite Wisdom’s favourite surface. The gelding actually put in a decent hit-out at his barrier trial on Tuesday, when third to Delaware.
It was a significant improvement from his last barrier trial a week ago when he ran last.
“He doesn’t go any good on the Polytrack. He ran fourth in a Novice race on Polytrack, I had no other choice as there are limited options,” said Gray.
“Simon also said he is a better horse on turf. That’s because he is a big-striding horse.
“At his trial last Tuesday, he also went terrible. I felt he needed one more trial to bring him up as he wasn’t quite there.
“Three weeks ago, he was supposed to run, but he had mucus. That’s why I had to change plans.
“He can be a bit naughty in the gates, but he was okay today. He had a good jumpout and he seemed a lot better.
“He seemed to love that. Hopefully we can see a different form on Saturday.”
The pairing with champion jockey Vlad Duric at the St George Stable-owned gelding’s last two barrier trials was a good pointer as to who would be taking over the steering duties in the annual two-year-old feature race.
Exceptionally this year, the juvenile race has undergone some changes, none more notable than being open to three-year-olds in the wake of the rescheduling of the racing calendar due to the interruption brought by COVID-19.
Usually held in July before the Southern Hemisphere-breds turn one on August 1, the Singapore Horseshoe has been pushed back by four months this year.
Previously sponsored by Aushorse with the backing of three other Australian companies, it was once slated as the last and final Leg of a series of five to six races, with bonuses payable to Australian-breds sold through either Inglis or Magic Millions.
With the unfortunate restrictions brought about by the pandemic, the series have given way to a standalone race this year. It’s also been downgraded from Group 2 to Group 3 status while its prizemoney has been halved to $125,000.