Australian Hall of Famer Lee Freedman last night notched an early double with just three runners at Kranji to tie with Shane Baertschiger in the trainers' table at 46 winners apiece and the duo will take their fight into tomorrow's Raffles Cup meeting.
Freedman is fielding the biggest team with 16 runners in nine of the 11 races, while Baertschiger is filing 13 runners spread over 10 races.
Like his compatriot, Baertschiger sent out three runners last night but luck was not on his side. He saddled a second with Soldado in Race 6, won by Destroyer Eclipse, and a third with Oliver in Race 4, won by Cracking Tottie, the only mare in the race.
Freedman kicked off the night by taking the opener, the $20,000 Maiden (2) event over the Poly 1,200m with the Michael Rodd-ridden $12 favourite King Zoustar. Rodd was also the winning rider of Cracking Tottie.
While King Zoustar won with finesse by streaking ahead at the top of the straight, Freedman's trial-winning newcomer Calculation was even more captivating in Race 2 with a resounding 31/4-length victory in the $85,000 Restricted Maiden event over the Poly 1,100m.
The manner in which the $28 third fancy won spoke volumes of his ability. Only three years old, Falcon Racing No.7 Stable's chestnut Australian-bred is a horse with a bright future.
The race started with a big shock for punters when the Troy See-ridden $7 favourite Galvarino was quick to jump but lost all chances when he began to veer badly to the outside fence. Whether the Alwin Tan-trained gelding could have won had he run straight is left to be seen but take nothing away from the deserving winner.
The $24 second favourite Gamely led but Calculation soon rushed up to be on his outside after a couple of hundred metres. They were followed by Lady Boss and Flaunt two lengths behind. Another gap away came Full Luck, Jumpin Jack and Axel.
Jockey Daniel Moor slipped some reins to Calculation turning for home and his mount lengthened nicely. In a trice, the newbie scooted to the front and the race was over. Calculation romped home by 31/4 lengths from Axel and clocked a relatively good time of 1min 05.36sec.
Freedman was naturally happy with Calculation's debut success but reckoned the race was turned upside-down with Galvarino's antics. Galvarino was backed down as if he had grown an extra pair of legs for being a last-start narrow second to Lim's Lightning in the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m on July 13 and had won a trial impressively for his comeback.
"I guess the race sort of changed complexion when the favourite went to the outside fence, so a bit of a shame for them but, anyway, good luck for us," said Freedman.
"He took up a good position there and he finished the race like he did in his trial last week, so it's pleasing to see."
Moor was equally surprised with the beaten favourite but praised Calculation's good turn of foot.
"Yeah, look, when I looked across my outside and saw that Troy See's horse decided to take the city route, that panned out very well for us because we skipped to the right spot," said the Australian rider.
"It's typically a Lee Freedman-trained horse, he's very push-button, even though he was having his first start. He was quick out, he was a little bit uncomfortable in the middle stages but he was going steady.
"He has got a really good turn of foot. He showed that in his trial that day, so once he works himself out, he could be a nice handy horse. He could probably adapt to the turf pretty quickly.
"We'll let him go through his grades and see how he pulls up from this. He's still a bit mentally unstable, so we'll let him go the right way and Lee will find a race for him."
Friday's South Africa results
1st 11 Domremy ($28-$12)
2nd 7 Desert Wanderer ($16)
2nd 8 River Delta ($12)
4th 10 French Nobility
Forecast (7-11) $36, (8-11) $24
Place Forecast (7-11) $24, (8-11) $17, (7-8) $38
Tierce (11-7-8) $1,274, (11-8-7) $637
Quartet No winner ($840 jackpot carried forward to next race)
Scratching: 17 My Advocate
1st 4 Don't Stop Dancing ($30-$10)
2nd 9 Keep It Green ($26)
3rd 3 Love Talk ($48)
4th 2 Light As A Feather
Place Forecast (4-9) $48, (3-4) $102, (3-9) $255
Tierce No winner ($6,950 carried forward)
Quartet No winner ($1,658 carried forward)
1st 9 Cape Leopard ($20-$10)
2nd 2 Fujin ($6)
3rd 10 Philander ($14)
4th 5 Conquering King
Place Forecast (2-9) $8, (9-10) $24, (2-10) $30
Quartet $1,911, ($2,325 carried forward)
1st 4 Mangrove ($37-$12)
2nd 6 Chit Chat ($16)
3rd 1 Stormy Eclipse ($13)
4th 2 Grape Vine
Place Forecast (4-6) $18, (1-4) $13, (1-6) $31
Tierce $597 Trio $139
Quartet No winner ($5,168 carried forward)
1st 8 Raven Girl ($15-$9)
2nd 7 Libra ($6)
3rd 9 Rocksette ($13)
4th 2 Smokey Affair
Place Forecast (7-8) $9, (8-9) $9, (7-9) $10
1st 6 Game Girl ($109-$17)
2nd 3 Horse Haizi ($10)
3rd 11 Kirinia ($36)
4th 8 Thermocline
Place Forecast (3-6) $24, (6-11) $120, (3-11) $96
Tierce No winner ($5,332 carried forward)
Trio No winner ($3,280 carried forward)
Quartet No winner ($282 carried forward)
Scratching: 10 Samba With Suzie
1st 3 Carlita ($16-$7)
2nd 5 Sassy Lady ($29)
3rd 8 Stopthinkingofme ($17)
4th 4 Reine Tonnerre
Place Forecast (3-5) $30, (3-8) $34, (5-8) $40
Quartet No winner ($580 carried forward)
Scratching: 6 Quick Glimpse
Result of Race 8 was not available at press time. Log on to www.turfclub.com.sg for the results.