About this time last year a filly by the name of BETTER LIFE was starting to show she could have what it takes to make a career out of this racing game. A little more than twelve months down the track and she has claims as being the best middle distance horse in Singapore, coming off two Group 1 wins; the most recent being a dominating victory in the $1.35 million Singapore Gold Cup. On Sunday she makes her much anticipated return to racing in the Group 3 JBBA Moonbeam Vase and given what we saw last campaign, she can win first up over 1800m. Her trainer, the astute Japanese handler Hideyuki Takaoka, knows a bit about the staying caper so fitness should not be a problem and given she gets in with the luxury weight of 54.5kg, anything short of a win would be disappointing. But she does meet some in-form group performers with LIZARRE, NANDOWRA, BLACK ICE and the improving READY TO STRIKE all race-fit and ready to win. Of that group, the Pat Shaw-trained LIZARRE does look due to knock in his second race win of 2013 and BETTER LIFE will need to be near her best to hold out the South African bred 6YO. Elsewhere on the card, TOUCH OF GOLD (race 8) and HOT GOLD (race 12), can both get the carrots back in suitable company.
Best Bets; HOT GOLD (race 12, win), GOOD TOWKAY (race 9, win) and YASTRZEMSKI (race 11, value).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 9 (2, 5 and 6), race 10 (3 and 4), race 11 (Field) and race 12 (1).
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; 4 TOUCH OF GOLD – 1 BOUNDLESS GLORY – 7 MAI GURU – 6 CHATEAUNEUF DUPAPE
BOUNDLESS GLORY is in fine form and the benchmark in this race. The 5YO has been a revelation in 2013 and given his recent form and a claim today for the white-hot apprentice Harry Kassim, he is hard to beat. But TOUCH OF GOLD gets in too well here with just 55kg coming off two group runs not to be the one to be on today. The lightly raced 4YO has shown plenty winning three from seven career starts but it was perhaps his effort in the Merlion Trophy last start carrying 57.5kg that has him adding to his win total. Although finishing out of the placings on that occasion, the run was good and Joao Moreira can also add another to his 2013 total. MAI GURU is a horse on the up and obviously in the mix coming off two wins in a row and a blanket over the rest.
1 BOUNDLESS GLORY *** In very good form and will be all over them late; hard to beat with claim. 3.50
2 NATURAL NICE ** Honest and supported when winning similar affair two back; each-way. 16
3 SICHUAN RULER ** Coming off a strong win and can get out to each-way value; follow. 6.00
4 TOUCH OF GOLD *** Coming off two good runs in group company so 55kg in Class 3 suggests he is hard to beat. 2.50
5 COUNTRY CLUB ** Returned in good order and wins sooner than later this campaign. 30
6 CHATEAUNEUF DUPAPE ** Two runs this campaign have been sound and plays a part late. 8.00
7 MAI GURU *** In-form and beat some fair types last start so looks up to this. 5.00
8 TENUPONTEN * Resuming after poor run in January; market only guide. 33
Selections; 5 GOOD TOWKAY – 6 DUTY FREE – 2 PALOMBARO – 3 PROBO CHANDROSO
They backed GOOD TOWKAY last start with Danny Chee on-board and with all due respect to the hard working rider, they will back him even more with Manoel Nunes steering. And to be fair again to D Chee, he was beaten by the fave and perhaps the horse, regardless of who is ontop, can win this. But the race – one of the newly created Kranji Stakes D events – has depth and plenty of early speed and it is the latter that has DUTY FREE under notice. The 5YO has only one win to his name but his recent form has him playing a part late. Plenty of other hopes with one eye on PALOMBARO and the other on PROBO CHANDROSO as both can win while a non-slipping saddle will have MR KNOW IT ALL in the mix.
1 FAT BOY *** Won fresh over this trip last start and have to follow after drawing the ace. 7.00
2 PALOMBARO *** Long time between drinks but showed last start he wins this company sooner than later; follow. 6.00
3 PROBO CHANDROSO *** Foot on the till and has to knock in a win soon. 4.00
4 ATLIXCO *** Another in the mix similar affairs of late and a solid each-way hope. 12
5 GOOD TOWKAY *** Backed and beaten into second last start but worth a serious look with leading hoop engaged. 3.00
6 DUTY FREE *** Plenty of speed in this race has him a big show with his late burst; can win. 12
7 MR KNOW IT ALL *** Beaten as fave last start but saddle slipped (again) so worth another look. 6.00
8 SINGLE STAR ** Freshened after good first up win but this is tougher; place. 20
9 DRAGON WISH * Last start an improvement but still needs to show more. 200
10 RECYCLE GOLD * Tongue-tie on; no. 200
11 MR VANTASTIC * Need sit easier than this. 100
Selections; 4 BETTER LIFE – 3 LIZARRE – 1 NANDOWRA – 5 READY TO STRIKE
The exciting mare BETTER LIFE returns to racing in the JBBA Moonbeam Vase and she is good enough to win first up over 1800m. The Australian-bred 4YO backed-up her first Group win in the Kranji Mile with a spanking win in the Singapore Gold Cup making it back-to-back Group 1’s. As you would expect, Master trainer, Hideyuki Takaoka, has picked a perfect race for her return and just 54.5kg at the race conditions looks a winning weight. But she is up against some very good race-fit Group performers with perhaps LIZARRE heading the list of challengers. The South African-bred has been in excellent form in 2013 and this race does look ideal to knock in a well deserved win. Throw in NANDOWRA, READY TO STRIKE and BLACK ICE into the top three mix.
1 NANDOWRA *** Broke through for well deserved win last start in the Poly Mile; can win again. 4.00
2 BLACK ICE ** In-form and pay to follow each-way back on his recent winning surface. 7.00
3 LIZARRE *** Doesn’t win out of turn but getting close to that rotation; solid hope. 3.50
4 BETTER LIFE *** Gold Cup winner resuming in a very suitable race and just has to recapture some of that rare form from late last year to win this. 2.50
5 READY TO STRIKE ** Showed at recent runs he is more than up to this level; in the mix. 6.00
6 SAKIMA ** Resuming and was starting to show form last campaign over this type of trip; exotics for value. 50
7 DON PLATENSE * Blinkers off but needs to show more before we consider. 100
8 SILVERON WINGS ** Form doesn’t look up to this but will be running on and could pinch a place at odds. 50
Selections; 2 YOURSTOKEEP – 4 YASTRZEMSKI – 3 KNIGHT’S COMMAND – 9 TIGER MASTER
This looks a very solid Class 4 Polytrack mile and it does look one to go very wide in any exotics. With the mantra of ‘winning form is good form’ ringing in the ears, YOURSTOKEEP looks a good on-top pick. Although both his wins have been over 1200m, his last start effort on the wire suggests the mile will be no problem and a horse to follow with ‘boom’ apprentice Harry Kassim a bonus. A couple of horses that are coming off poor runs in the same race – YASTRZEMSKI and KNIGHT’S COMMAND – also appeal here. Both never really got involved, both are better than that and hopefully get out to value given the poor result last time out. DRAGON NINETYNINE also comes under that category – give him another chance – with ROUGH DAY, TIGER MASTER and PURE RABID also in the mix.
1 QUINTA DE LAGO ** Form reads just fair but improves dropping to Class 4. 33
2 YOURSTOKEEP *** In-form and looks like he more than handles the step up to the mile with handy 3kg claim; can win. 3.00
3 KNIGHT’S COMMAND *** Blew the start and his chances last start and worth following this type of race; claim wont hurt. 16
4 YASTRZEMSKI *** Never looked likely last start with support; can make amends here. 4.00
5 ROUGH DAY *** Drawn badly but can race handy and probably leads somewhere late; keep safe. 6.00
6 DRAGON NINETYNINE *** All sorts of excuses last start (including saddle slipping) so ignore and take on good maiden win two back. 20
7 CARTAGO ** Nothing last two but improves at odds up in trip. 338 PURE RABID *** Broke through for well-deserved maiden win last start and pay to follow. 12
9 TIGER MASTER *** Excuses last start and form prior has him right in this with gate one a bonus. 10
10 ZAC SEDUCTION ** Solid last start similar affair but exotics look best. 16
11 BAY OF ISLAND ** In super form and step up to mile suits but wide gate is a concern this trip. 20
12 CAN’T TOUCH ME ** In the mix last couple similar affairs and a must for exotics with gate three a bonus. 12
Selections; 1 HOT GOLD – 7 FAMOUS N FAST – 2 GOLDEN CURL – 4 BRUNEI ROYAL
HOT GOLD looks a good thing in the last. Although only winning twice – both over 1400m – in his 10 start career, the NH-bred 4YO has been in some pretty good company of late and must be hard to beat back in Class 4 company. In fact given he was only beaten by one-and-three-quarter lengths behind ATO three starts back, he really should account for this field. The drop back to 1200m also looks a good move given he over raced over 1400m last start and should dictate terms under Alan Munro. You could throw the proverbial blanket over the rest but FAMOUS N FAST showed more than enough first up after a bleeding attack to follow this campaign and GOLDEN CURL does look well placed with Harry Kassim’s claim. BRUNEI ROYAL to be kept safe at long odds as he will pop up one day in this company.
1 HOT GOLD *** Been going round in top company and should win back in Class 4; very hard to beat. 2.00
2 GOLDEN CURL ** Will win races in this company and 3kg claim helps; keep safe. 5.00
3 GOOD VIBRATIONS ** Honest in this type of race and a must for exotics. 12
4 BRUNEI ROYAL ** Disappoints more often than not but has looked due to get his act together at odds. 33
5 ROYAL STYLE ** Resuming after short let up and while form was good, he is a query on the turf. 12
6 JETSET MAN ** Former Kiwi who looks well placed in Class 4 but has spent more than a year out of racing; will get some support with Moreira on. 7.00
7 FAMOUS N FAST ** Showed first up after bleeding attack he is ready to win; keep safe with blinkers off/visor on. 6.008 LINDT ** Resuming and while better over longer he is worth a look at value in exotics as recent trial OK. 33
9 AFROJACK * Hard to have. 100
10 CHEETAH * Waste of a good gate. 100
11 SUPER CAPTAIN * Competitive on his day but might be looking for easier company. 33
12 GOLD HALO * Reassess Class 5. 100