where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2020-12-19 11:26:50  
Super Dynasty's Colonial Chief win caps brilliant day for Maia, rekindles title hopes

 Underrated galloper Super Dynasty landed a mini upset when he won the $150,000 Group 3 Colonial Chief Stakes (1600m) in record-equalling time thanks largely to a gutsy ride from a man on fire on Saturday.

Taken to the front around the first bend after he came looping over from a wide barrier, the Fastnet Rock grey went on to set his own pace to Singapore’s last feature race of the year before turning on the second set of afterburners in the home straight.
Recent Polytrack winner Senor Don and $20 favourite Sincerely issued a strong bid to peg him back inside the concluding stages, but Super Dynasty had enough petrol in the tank to hold them safely at bay rather easily in the end.
Smartly handled by bang-in-form jockey Ruan Maia, Lee Freedman’s galloper actually skipped clear to score by a comfortable margin of 1 ½ lengths from Senor Don (Krisna Thangamani) with Sincerely (Ryan Munger) having to settle for third another head away.
By clocking 1min 37.64sesc for the turf mile on the Short Course, Super Dynasty joins Tiger Roar who stunningly broke the record in a Class 5 race last year.
Other than the sizzling timing, the other hot talking point was Brazil’s new Kranji pin-up after Joao Moreia, that winning machine Maia chalking up a fantastic five-timer with that fifth Group win in the Lion City. Four of those majors were recorded this season at his first full one-year licence, including two at Group 1 level, the Kranji Mile and Raffles Cup with Aramaayo.
While a Group 3 win may not carry the same gloss, the Colonial Chief Stakes triumph was arguably more significant for the former two-time Macau champion jockey in his search for the most prized reward for any jockey, the champion title, and at his rookie season for good measure.
Super Dynasty’s win capped a big haul (earlier winners were Sky Eye, So Hi Class, Mr Showman and Water Rocket) that has cut back current Singapore champion jockey Vlad Duric’s lead to only four winners. The latter got one back early with Special Ops (see earlier report) to cancel out Maia’s opener with Sky Eye and maintain the eight-winner gap, but the Maia juggernaut has now turned next Sunday’s season finale into a riveting two-horse race to the wire not to be missed at any costs.
In his now signature bleached hair, the debonair jockey was still playing it cool at the winner’s circle, but one could see the glint in his eyes, now that he has given himself a shot at glory after a meeting that he had earlier in the week labelled as do or die.
With a task that seemed like a mountain to climb, only a highly prolific day close to his famous seven-timer of August 23, combined with a Duric off day (one winner by his lofty standard is not far off) would have given Maia a lifeline. Against all odds, he has done the hardest part, even if it’s only half the battle won.
“It’s fantastic. I’m still four behind, but it looks better now,” he said.
“I had to have a day like this to have a chance. It’s over now and we’ll see what happens in the last.”
On his tactical nous aboard Super Dynasty, Maia revealed it was not his intention to go forward, and certainly not break away from the pack down the backstraight, but the script wrote by itself the more he let the six-year-old do his own things in front.
“I was supposed to sit either second or third, but when the gates opened, there was no pace early,” he said.
“My horse jumped good and I was going to sit second or third, but when I saw Munger hold his horse back, I decided to let my horse go forward.
“I know he’s a one-paced horse, so I just let him dictate a strong pace, and hope he can keep up the same pace to the finish.
“I had full control of the race and at the 400m, I gave him another reminder and he ran through the line really well.”
The Maia-Freedman pairing is no stranger to feature race success. They famously combined for the first time when Maia was flown in from Macau by the Hong Kong owner of Circuit Land for the one ride in the Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) in April 2018, and it proved to be a one-hit wonder – and first Group success for Freedman, who arrived in Singapore the year before.
Thirty-two months later, Maia is no relative unknown anymore for having proven his chops at his first Singapore season big time, with that second Group win with Freedman the cherry on the top.
The veteran trainer for one put Super Dynasty’s Colonial Chief Stakes win down to Maia’s able hands.
“No wonder he rides so many winners. He won the race for us,” said the Australian Hall of Fame trainer.
“He rated this race beautifully. It was his idea to let the horse roll and roll, and make it a staying test, it was a brilliant ride.
“This horse ran great in the same race last year (led but weakened to finish fourth to Pennywise, who didn’t fire a shot in his title defence this year, though he loomed with his usual wide run from the 600m), but he’s going much better this year.
“He had no luck at all at his last run when he was caught wide, but he had things his way today. Christmas has come early!”
Those trivia buffs who latched onto the colours of the season in the silks worn by Super Dynasty – the red and green hooped colours made famous by Super Easy, Super Ninetyseven or Super One (all trained by Freedman’s younger brother Michael in the mid-2010s) – may have well cashed in on an early Christmas 5-1 payout.
All up, Super Dynasty has taken his own cash box past the $350,000 mark for the Number One Stable with that seventh win from 34 starts.
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