Miss Dusty stepped up on her debut second to score an emphatic victory despite starting from the widest gate in Race 2 last night.
The Cliff Brown-trained three-year-old grey filly improved by leaps and bounds and was more settled as she romped home by three lengths in the $85,000 Restricted Maiden event over 1,200m on turf.
Winning jockey Michael Rodd reckoned "better things" are in store for the New Zealand-bred filly, who is a half-sister of some nice Kranji-based horses, including last year's Champion Polytrack Horse Nova Swiss and five-time winner Golden Sword. They share the same dam, Asciano Miss.
There was a mad scramble for the lead from the "off" before Gridiron, the least-backed of the 12 runners at $540, took the lead and then dropped anchor. Trial winner Hooga Net was one of the leaders but began to overrace badly and dropped back quickly.
The coast was clear for Rodd as he steered Miss Dusty up beautifully from the outside to take a seat behind the leader, who covered the first 400m in a slow 25.28sec. Fame Star and impressive trial winner Eye Guy, who opened as the short favourite but drifted to being the $21 third favourite, were next. The eventual $17 favourite Monte Nerone had only one runner, Sacred Magic, behind him.
Gridiron led into the straight but was joined by Miss Dusty at the 350m mark. Miss Dusty then lengthened when just niggled by Rodd. From then on, the $20 second favourite, one of only two fillies in the race, just cruised away. The margin was three lengths but it should have been more, as Rodd was already relaxing and looking behind before the post. The winning time was 1min 11.25sec.
Friday's South Africa results
1st 4 Royal Applause ($19-$8)
2nd 1 Bayeto ($7)
3rd 5 Mr Hardy ($13)
4th 8 Kissmebackfoot
Place Forecast (1-4) $7, (4-5) $15, (1-5) $17
Tierce $339 Trio $61
Quartet No winner ($946 carried forward to the next race)
Scratchings: 3 Samurai Dragon, 10 Slam Dunk
1st 2 Imperadora ($26-$8)
2nd 1 Countess Cantabria ($7)
3rd 3 Eeshara ($7)
4th 4 Dear Moniette
Place Forecast (1-2) $6, (2-3) $13, (1-3 ) $13
Tierce $183 Trio $30
1st 5 Jade Ore ($14-$7)
2nd 2 Kazuri ($6)
3rd 1 Incomodation ($6)
4th 6 Abbeleigh
Place Forecast (2-5) $5, (1-5) $5, (1-2) $6
Tierce $36 Trio $13
1st 2 Rasta Bay ($17-$7)
2nd 1 Sacred Touch ($5.10)
3rd 8 Don't Let Me Down ($28)
4th 4 Conquering King
Place Forecast (1-2) $3, (2-8) $22, (1-8) $18
Tierce $194 Trio $54
Scratching: 7 King Of Fortune
1st 8 Close To My Heart ($46-$12)
2nd 7 Altitude ($8)
3rd 3 Sanctuary ($23)
4th 1 Giovanna
Place Forecast (7-8) $14, (3-8) $28, (3-7) $28
Tierce $1,064 Trio $213
Quartet No winner ($472 carried forward)
1st 2 Quid Rides ($12-$7)
2nd 5 Lotus Elan ($6)
3rd 4 Eastern Pearl ($11)
4th 1 Rosslyn Chapel
Place Forecast (2-5) $5, (2-4) $8, (4-5) $7
Tierce $33 Trio $15
Results of Races 7, 8 and 9 were not available at press time. Log on to www.turfclub.com.sg for the results.
Miss Dusty was fractious in her stall at her debut on April 22 and sat in the box-seat third and finished on to beat all but Good Catch, who was a $9 beaten favourite in the next race when fourth to back-to-back winner in the Class 4 Non Premier event over the Poly 1,100m.
Brown's deputy, Tim Fitzsimmons, was a little concerned with Miss Dusty's wide berth but was impressed with her swift turn of foot.
"The first start, she did a bit of wrong in the gate. She got spooked but still ran really good, probably blew out a bit in the last bit. Tonight, from the gate, we were a little bit worried. But, once she got across quite easily, she got a great turn of foot," he said.
Rodd felt that the wide barrier was a blessing in disguise and the slow pace helped the Tarnpirr Stable-owned Miss Dusty.
"She had a very economical run. There was a fair bit of trouble early in the running. Barrier 12 was a blessing in disguise for us. I was out there and out of trouble," said the Australian jockey.
"You know, then I got over quite comfortably. We just cantered the first part of the race and she picked up really good. You know, she has always showed us a bit and she's well-related. The mare has been very good up here in Singapore, and it was great to get that win out of the way. She's in store for better things."