Nova Vocal, the smart debut winner beaten by a nose second-up, avenged that defeat with an authoritative victory at Kranji last night and may line up in next week's $1 million Group 1 Singapore Guineas over 1,600m.
The wide draw of 10 in the field of 12 in the Class 4 Non Premier race over the Polytrack 1,200m was a bit of a concern, but the James Peters-trained three-year-old Irish-bred quickly put the doubts behind by securing the lead with his speed.
The $7 favourite opened up a two-length advantage on settling down from Savage Storm and Sun Seeker, clocking the first 400m at a steady 24.64sec. Savage Storm got up to about a length on straightening. But, once jockey Craig Grylls pressed the button, Nova Vocal gave plenty and left his rivals trailing as if they were standing still.
The margin was three-and-three-quarter lengths. His time of 1min 11.72sec was a class record, eclipsing the record held by the Donna Logan-trained Green Star, who clocked 1min 12.59sec just three weeks ago, also with Grylls aboard.
Peters was certainly pleased with Nova Vocal's scintillating victory and the boyish Englishman revealed that the owners, Nova Racing Stable, harbour thoughts of seeing their racing silks in the Singapore Guineas next Saturday.
"He's got loads of ability. We've always thought he was a decent horse. It's not easy for these three-year-olds to go into this sort of handicap company. To win like that was very good," said Peters.
Friday's South Africa results
1st 6 Perfect Timing ($37-$8)
2nd 3 My Boy Jack ($6)
3rd 2 Falcon Rock ($7)
4th 1 Albrandino
Place Forecast (3-6) $5, (2-6) $6, (2-3) $4
Tierce $106 Trio $17
Scratching: 7 Pollymania
1st 1 Seattle Lily ($18-$6)
2nd 5 Mackerel Sky ($32)
3rd 10 Malinda ($7)
4th 8 Dona
Place Forecast (1-5) $28, (1-10) $6, (5-10) $33
Tierce $760 Trio $104
Quartet No winner ($574 jackpot carried forward to next race)
Scratching: 4 Poetry
1st 3 Berry Crush ($64-$12)
2nd 5 Truth Of Beauty ($7)
3rd 10 Rare Spice ($7)
4th 1 Countess Cantabria
Place Forecast (3-5) $12, (3-10) $15, (5-10) $5
Tierce $639 Trio $55
Quartet $859, ($1,056 carried forward)
Scratching: 4 Ohsobright
1st 1 Sacred Touch ($8-$6)
2nd 5 Big Jay's ($10)
3rd 2 Conquering King (no 3rd dividend)
4th 3 King Javeline
Place Forecast Refund
Scratchings: 4 Supreme Sword, 6 American Sniper
1st 3 Red Granite ($57-$10)
2nd 1 Beataboutthebush ($6)
3rd 6 Tiffindell ($9)
4th 4 Excellent
Place Forecast (1-3) $10, (3-6) $18, (1-6) $7
Quartet $998, ($1,154 carried forward)
1st 4 Space Tatoo ($53-$14)
2nd 12 Corker ($42)
3rd 10 Joking Dice ($12)
4th 6 Cowgirlinthesand
Place Forecast (4-12) $91, (4-10) $30, (10-12) $56
Quartet No winner ($1,850 carried forward)
Scratchings: 11 Rendezvous, 13 Gift Of Gold
1st 3 Captain Marmalade ($23-$8)
2nd 2 Lord Windermere ($16)
3rd 10 Arctic Blast ($22)
4th 9 Firstimesacharm
Place Forecast (2-3) $15, (3-10) $28, (2-10) $46
Quartet No winner ($4,138 jackpot carried forward to Saturday's S. Africa meeting)
"Well, he has got a mention in the Guineas next week. You know, he's only run over six furlongs (1,200m) and stepping to a mile is a question mark. But we'll see how he pulls up.
"We'll have a chat with the owners. I know they're pretty keen to go, so might be worth to throw the hat into the ring there."
Grylls was a bit worried about Nova Vocal's wide berth but was impressed his mount flew the gates and put himself into the race.
"You know, he's got a lot of raw talent. There was a bit of concern over the draw but he jumped pretty quick and put himself there, and put the bad luck out of it. He travelled really good and he had a good kick at the top of the straight. Done it pretty comfortably, really," said the Kiwi rider.
But can the son of Vocalised and Tense handle the Guineas' distance of 1,600m?
"I mean, providing he settles, I think he can. You know, it's going to be hard to tell. The only way to find out is having a go. But, on his breeding , I think eventually he will. But, at this stage, we're not sure but definitely he did indicate he will get there eventually."