Six races on offer from Singapore – a mixed surface meeting – with some interesting races on the E Short Course Turf making finding a winner or two a tough ask.
Case in point is the Class 3 mile (race 9) which sees a small but curious field head to the starter.
Curious in the fact that GRAND APPROACH looks a stand-out on form – a win and a second placing from two Singapore starts – but tactics will definitely play a part and Joao Moreira will have to be on his game to get the ex-Australian galloper over the line.
And it is the ‘canny’ John Powell who could dictate the race pace on KNIGHT SPIRIT.
The 5YO doesn’t win out of turn – and never fired a shot last time out – but it well worth noting he lead a good field up five starts back when he won and looks every chance to do it again on a track that could favour front-runners.
He outwitted Moreira on the favourite SOUTH GATE on that occasion and it will be interesting to see if the ‘Brazilian Ace’ lets the ‘Laid-back Aussie’ get away with it again and whether what could be a two-horse battle early, brings the swoopers into play.
Elsewhere on the card, the Class 5 Claimers Only mile (race 8) looks a raffle but WING WARRIOR might just turn around some shocking form on paper with a cheeky run stepping up to what is a more suitable distance.
Best Bets; SOLITAIRE (race 7, win), GRAND APPROACH/KNIGHT SPIRIT (race 9, swinger), WING WARRIOR (race 8, value).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 9 (1 and 3), race 10 (field), race 11 (1 and 5) and race 12 (1, 2, 5 and 12).
.Race cards and Larry Foley’s synopsis follows and for updates on all runners go to www.kranjiracing.com
Please note the odds listed are “reference odds” only.
Selections; 1 SOLITAIRE – 10 WINNING SUCCESS – 8 TAI COMMANDS – 11 FIFTH DAN
Hopefully the on-pace runners have been holding their own in earlier races on the E Course Turf as our top few picks in this mile should be more than handy throughout. SOLITAIRE is in fine form and although swooping at his last three starts, the 3YO has been jumping from wide gates and John Powell will have no hesitation from gate 2 to race in a forward position today. He looks a progressive, versatile type and is the one to beat. WINNING SUCCESS is the likely leader and will look the winner at stages in the straight. In fact if he gets an easy time of it out front, the four-time winner (three over the mile) could easily win and might provide each-way value given most of his recent good form and win was in Class 5. TAI COMMANDS has blinkers added so a more forward race is expected and given he went round at 100-1 last start, he could be well worth a look at value. FIFTH DAN also looks suited back over the mile – his only win was over this trip – and happy to risk the likely back-markers in MAGIC MOMENT, CHIEF SECRETARY and GOLDEN DOMINATOR.
1 SOLITAIRE *** In form and good gate important as can race on pace which will be handy today – big show. 3.30
2 DOUBLE RANSOM * Disappointing last start and concern over poor turf form – take on trust. 6.00
3 GOLDEN DOMINATOR ** Query on run last start and obviously form prior has him some show here if handy enough in running. 12
4 MAGIC MOMENT ** Won four starts back similar affair and runs since OK – keep safe with one eye on the market. 10
5 DARIEN GAP * Not a lot last start but can improve stepping up in distance with blinkers back on at odds. 33
6 SAVOUR * Appreciates step up in distance but needs to show more. 100
7 CHIEF SECRETARY ** Appreciates being back on the turf and form suggests best work late and a good each way hope. 4.00
8 TAI COMMANDS *** Blinkers on suggests a more forward showing and looks the improver – watch tote. 20
9 ARABIAN NIGHT ** Will probably give them a start but will run on strongly and can include in exotics. 12
10 WINNING SUCCESS *** Leads and that will count for plenty in a race like this – big show. 12
11 FIFTH DAN *** Step up to mile and blinkers off looks a good combination. Bold showing expected. 7.00
Selections; 3 WING WARRIOR – 2 MONGOLIAN STAR – 8 DISTINCT NICHE – 11 MY WAY
Trainer Leslie Khoo is a patient man when it comes to the punt and when you consider he has run WING WARRIOR over what looks an unsuitable trip at his last 5 starts, you can see why. So while the 5YO has gone around at somewhere near the 100-1 mark at his last seven or so runs (his last three in this company), I expect support over the mile and a very bold run. The fact his four career wins have been on the Poly will be a concern for some but with solid turf form in suitable races and the ability to race on the pace, that is not an issue and may get us a handy each-way price. All good in theory! MONGOLIAN STAR looks hardest to beat and given he also races handy, the early positions will be crucial. Both horses have drawn well (WING WARRIOR 1 and MONGOLIAN STAR 3) and if the pair don’t ‘cut each others throats’ out front, could fight out the finish. Of the rest, DISTINCT NICHE is in form and will be thereabouts and MY WAY also appeals on some solid recent outings and happy to think the four horses mentioned play a major role in all exotics.
1 GOLDEN LARK ** Maiden but thereabouts this type of race as a rule – include somewhere. 5.00
2 MONGOLIAN STAR *** In form, will race on the pace and in this a very long way. 3.00
3 WING WARRIOR *** Form reads horribly but step up to a more suitable distance a significant move and a very bold run is expected. WATCH. 6.00
4 ROCKY GARDEN * Has been super disappointing since dropping to what should have been a winnable grade. No. 50
5 CAN’T TOUCH ME ** Has been disappointing of late but switch back to turf – his winning surface – a good move. 33
6 AETON * Another back to his winning surface but hard to have on last couple. 50
7 LIANG KEE ** Second run back from spell and with blinkers on from good draw over suitable distance should show improvement – keep safe at value. 33
8 DISTINCT NICHE *** Disappointing for the support of late but can race handy and will battle away to the line. 4.00
9 OIL BARON ** Another who will battle away to the line and while a win would surprise is a must for exotics. 12
10 DESERT VIKING ** Showed more than enough late last start to think the step up in distance is in his favour and pay to keep safe. 33
11 MY WAY *** Shown enough of late to think he can win a race like this and some show if handy enough in running with wide gate an obvious concern. 8.00
12 BICARA * No. 100
13 EQUIENCE ** Not seen often on this surface but recent form OK and can include in skinny end of exotics. 20
14 MONTE CRISTO *** Probably wont get a run today but drop in Class and step up in distance in his favour – WATCH. 50
Selections; 3 GRAND APPROACH – 1 KNIGHT SPIRIT – 5 TARANKALI – 2 KING FAALCON
GRAND APPROACH has hit the ground running in Singapore; winning on debut and backing that up with a very solid placing this company at his next start. And trainer Leticia Dragon looks to found a very winnable race in this Class 3 mile and the GALILEO 4YO looks extremely hard to beat. In a small field you would expect Joao Moreira to dictate terms and unless things get silly early, he should have enough in hand to hold off the challengers. One horse that might take it up to GRAND APPROACH early is KNIGHT SPIRIT. John Powell led on the 5YO gelding when he won five starts back and no reason to think the experienced Australian hoop doesn’t try the same tactics today. And bar his last start, his form since that win easily good enough to think he is the biggest danger to the likely favourite in GRAND APPROACH. Small fields can be tricky but the two horses mentioned should fight this finish out and happy to leave it at that.
1 KNIGHT SPIRIT *** Super disappointing last start but won when he raced on the pace and expect a similar approach today. 3.00
2 KING FAALCON ** Form reads badly but significant step up in distance and while he might need longer again, improvement is likely. 12
3 GRAND APPROACH *** Backed up gutsy win at Singapore debut with a solid run – improves again and can win this. 2.50
4 MARTIN ** Progressive type who backed up maiden win three starts back with a good effort and then a win in Class 4 – follow. 8.00
5 TARANKALI ** Frustrating runner but always looks some hope in races like this – keep safe with small field in his favour. 5.00
6 CHAMPAGNE NEEDED * Champagne needed to dull the pain for followers. 100
7 VAYA CONDIOS ** Up in Class but in OK form and light weight appeals. 7.00
Selections; 2 ZAC IMPERIAL – 7 KNIGHT KINGDOM – 4 SPECTA DILEMMA – 8 SWITCH DOUBLEMISTY
An ordinary field and while you can look for something to go round at value, Moreira on a relatively in-form horse in ZAC IMPERIAL points to a forward showing. The 5YO has drawn badly but showed last start with Vorster on-board he runs well for experienced hoops. Moreira won on him four starts back and while he will be short and no ‘good thing’, he is the only horse to have on top. Of the rest, you can make a case for KNIGHT KINGDOM but TH Koh really needs to make good use of the good gate. That is a concern given he jumped from the same gate three starts back with the same hoop and couldn’t race handy. SPECTA DILEMMA is the value pick – he is resuming but goes well first up and looks to enjoy this type of race. Throw in CONQUEROR, SWITCH DOUBLEMISTY and REVERSE TAKEOVER in what is an ordinary race at best.
1 SINATRA * OK on the wire last start but still needs to find extra before we get serious. 20
2 ZAC IMPERIAL *** Showed last start that an experienced hoop is needed and goes close today. 2.50
3 CONQUEROR *** Looked to have every chance last start from similar draw but cannot discount. 3.50
4 SPECTA DILEMMA *** Resuming but has first up form and often runs well at value – keep safe. 33
5 BULL SHOT ** Thereabouts last start but still needs to lift on recent form. 12
6 GOOD PARTNER * Blinkers off but no. 50
7 KNIGHT KINGDOM *** Got back from wide gate last start and well home (hop queried) so expect a very forward run from the better barrier. Goes close. 8.00
8 SWITCH DOUBLEMISTY *** Disappointing last start but form prior has him breaking maiden status sooner than later with senior hoop a factor today. 7.00
9 WINNING DAN * Struggling of late and while he should be doing better the wide gate suggests we ignore today. 33
10 REVERSE TAKEOVER *** Back in trip but in form and versatile enough to go well. 10
11 ROYAL BRAT ** Probably needs longer to be a threat but senior hoop suggests we keep safe in exotics. 25
Selections; 1 GOOD LOOUKEN – 5 RUNNING TALL – 6 BENJI’S EMPIRE – 7 NO RESPITE
This race has depth. But while you can make a good case for at least seven of the ten horses in the field, again, it’s hard to go past Joao Moreira on a horse in form. In this case it’s the former Argentinean galloper, GOOD LOOUKEN, who won well at his Singapore debut with Moreira in the saddle. On that occasion he did it tough enough on the pace to think the win was stronger than it looks on paper and the step up to 1400m looks perfect given he won and won placed at Group level over that trip in Argentina. But as mentioned the race has depth and you could happily be on something to beat him. RUNNING TALL also won at his Singapore debut and while he has yet to visit the winners circle since, he is in good form, had excuses last start and this race does look perfect. BENJI’S EMPIRE could run a very cheeky race and is worth a look as is NO RESPITE, SUPERCZAR and ILUMINADO. Great race.
1 GOOD LOOUKEN *** Won well doing it tough at Singapore debut and this looks a good progression. The one to beat. 3.00
2 ENCOSTA DIABLO ** Solid enough Singapore debut to think he goes close here with natural improvement likely. 12
3 ILUMINADO ** Disappointing last start but better than that and previous form has him a leading contender. 6.00
4 SUPERCZAR *** Getting closer to another win and keeps most of these honest; each way. 8.00
5 RUNNING TALL *** Big effort last start to go close after doing it tough – looks suited here and can make amends. 4.00
6 BENJI’S EMPIRE *** In form and last win was over the trip – keep safe with handy 2kg claim. 6.00
7 NO RESPITE *** Solid type and step up to 1400m might be what he needs for a result in this company; value runner. 20
8 GOLDEN CURL ** Excuses last start and work late suggests he is up to this although will need some luck from awkward draw. 12
9 GOOD TOWKAY ** Goes OK on his day and last start better than the result but might need it a tad easier than this. 33
10 CARIBBEAN MOON ** Can mix her form but goes OK on her day. 50
Selections; 1 THISISIT – 2 BLACK RAIN – 12 AFFIRMATION – 5 AMERICAN VISION
Obviously Joao Moreira has featured heavily in the tips in the last few races but we are hoping that comes to a stop in the ‘get out of jail stakes’. Moreira rides AMERICAN VISION and while the US-bred 3YO is in fine form, his one turf run was a shocker and happy to over-look him here with short odds likely. The other 3YO, THISISIT, looks a better option given excellent form – two wins and three second placings from just five career starts – and a handy 4kg claim. He has drawn wide in 11 but expect apprentice WX Wong to go forward early and if he gets any sort of position on or near the pace, he can win. BLACK RAIN was disappointing last start but the experienced John Powell takes over and from a nice gate he too can be expected to run a forward race. His two wins have been over the trip and looks a solid option in a race with no real stand-out. Another we can look at odds is the grey, AFFIRMATION. While it would be nice to see him in Class 5, he loves this trip and can also run a forward race with gate four and Ivaldo Santana in his favour. Obvious AMERICAN VISION a danger and no reason (bar that one bad run!) to think he doesn’t handle the turf with STREET RUFFIAN and BAY OF ISLAND musts for exotics.
1 THISISIT *** Won well last start and can win again with handy 4kg claim stepping up to 1400m. 4.00
2 BLACK RAIN *** Disappointing with support last start but will be in this for a very long time from the good gate and worth another chance. 4.50
3 GOD’S COBBA * Shocking Singapore debut and prefer to watch. 100
4 BAY OF ISLAND ** Rarely seen on this surface but has gone OK similar affairs on occasions; watch tote with headgear removed for this. 20
5 AMERICAN VISION *** Can win this on form with only query being poor turf run although excuses that day. 3.00
6 COOL CAT * Last start OK but needs to put a couple of good runs together. 50
7 STREET RUFFIAN ** In form – albeit on the Poly – but worth noting last win was over this trip and turf. Keep safe. 8.50
8 SUPER ZUCCA ** Last run his best and good enough to place here if he can back up that effort. 33
9 SECARA ** Did it tough wide last start and worth another chance this company over his favourite trip. 33
10 CABRERA * Better than what he showed last start but wide gate makes this very tough. 50
11 GEORGE * Can ignore last start where he received a bad check but turf form a serious concern. 20
12 AFFIRMATION *** No weight and suitable race suggests he is a serious winning hope. Watch. 6.00
13 KAEPEEYAI ** Another grey with no weight and not without a chance to fill the skinny end of exotics at odds. 50