All Too Hard import Jomo returned to form when trainer Lee Freedman stretched him out to 1400m for the first time in Singapore on Saturday night.
Jomo was widely seen as something out of the box after completing a hat-trick at Kranji over shorter trips last year. He returned this term tipping the scales at a hulking 636kg but couldn’t recapture that winning mojo for Freedman and owner Andrew Chan. He was in the mix in the early stages before petering out when the chips were down.
“He got a soft lead tonight, and that helped, God bless him,” said Freedman. “It’s been a while since he’s run that well. He’s sound, a good eater and is straightforward to train.”
Jomo (4g All Too Hard – Skye Gold by Galileo) cost $100,000 from the Vinery draft at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier. Sent to Bjorn Baker, he was an ultra-impressive Kembla Grange trial winner before transferring offshore.
Now trimmed down to 615kg, he was partnered by Vlad Duric for the first time on Saturday and the Aussie expat produced yet another masterclass ride. Duric bided his time in front and had the luxury of a breather midrace before defying the final-furlong challenge of Augustus (Snitzel).
“He’s almost bombproof when on song and that was a nice race tonight,” Duric said. “I stayed wide early because he’s big and aggressive. And I was confident we would win when he pricked his ears at the half-mile.”
Jomo is the third Singapore winner by Vinery sire All Too Hard and is bred on the same Galileo cross as Stan Fox Stakes Gr.2 winner Tarka. He has a younger full-brother named Blow Torch who won a Kilmore 3yo maiden on debut for Tony McEvoy in November.
Hoofnote: Duric has been confirmed to ride Lim’s Cruiser in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes Gr.1 at Royal Ascot. Singapore’s reigning Horse of the Year is by Vinery sire Casino Prince and is quoted at $26 for the international sprint on June 23.