More distance seems to be the way Great Sun likes it as he opened his account in style at his fourth start when stepped up to 1400m for the first time on Sunday.
The Michael Freedman-trained three-year-old son of Lucky Owners had thus far been going around over 1200m, but a decision in consultation with jockey Craig Newitt to test him over seven furlongs came to fruition with a slashing win in the $65,000 Initiation race over 1400m.
Instead of leading as they did at their last pairing, Great Sun ($18) was eased into the box seat by Newitt, cuddled along in the slipstream as Bravo Charlie (Manoel Nunes) dictated matters upfront, with favourite Time Odyssey (Barend Vorster) also travelling well on his outside. Bravo Charlie was the first to greet the judge upon cornering, but soon came under siege as a two-pronged assault from longshot Sacred Klass (John Powell) and Time Odyssey took shape on the outside.
While Sacred Klass kept at it, the favourite looked flatfooted, but the race was quickly put to bed when Great Sun exploded onto the scene. The big strapping galloper gave his rivals no chance of a riposte as he put a space on them to cross the wire with 1 ¼ lengths to spare from the fast-finishing Hee’s A Maverick (David Flores).
Sacred Klass held on gamely for third another head away. The winning time was 1min 22.91secs for the 1400m on the Short Course.
“He ran first-up on New Year’s Day and Craig who rode him on that day told me he was not sharp enough over 1200m and should get back on turf and over 1400m,” said Freedman.
“I looked at the programme and we thought that race suited him. He’s a nice genuine horse and from the way he’s been running, we knew he would win pretty soon.
“The owners are from Hong Kong and have raced a few with me over the years. It’s good to have a winner for them.”
Newitt, who was netting his fifth win, his third for Freedman, at his very first long-term contract in Singapore, could not be happier with the way things have panned out since the commencement of his six-month licence on December 12.
“Things have been going great. Can’t complain,” said the multiple-Group 1-winning Melbourne jockey.
“This winner is a nice big horse and it’s taken a while for him to get there. He’s still a bit green, especially when he was let loose in the straight.
“But he got his action back and I’m sure he’ll learn with more racing.”