Le Grange’s Maxima Looks Best

Kranji first due off @ 06h30

Trainer Ricardo Le Grange will saddle three runners in the SG$70,000 Class 3 race on Saturday at Kranji but pointed to promising stayer Maxima as his best winning chance.

The well-travelled seven-year-old, who has won three from six starts in Singapore after coming from Hong Kong since May last year, will be second-up this campaign after running a solid fifth in a Class 3 race on 18 May.

Maxima (Bernardo Pinheiro) seen here at his debut win on 20 August 2023

Maxima (Bernardo Pinheiro) seen here at his debut win on 20 August 2023 (Pic – STC)

Prior to that, the son of Ivawood ran handy in the Gr1 Singapore Gold Cup won by Lim’s Kosciuszko on 11 November before battling late to finish in 10th.

With another crack at the 100th Grand Singapore Gold Cup to be run on 5 October firmly in his plans, Le Grange thought Maxima will not only race well this Saturday, but also improve from the outing.

“Whatever he does on Saturday, Maxima will benefit immensely from the run,” said the South African conditioner.

“I thought his first run back (18 May) after it didn’t go to plan in the Singapore Gold Cup was decent and he appreciated that run over seven furlongs, fitness-wise.

“He came on nicely in the coat after that run and we had been giving him a lot of stamina work in the last two weeks. Jockey Bernardo Pinheiro galloped him on Tuesday, and we were very happy with how he went.

“He will be better over longer again but the mile this week looks like a suitable progression to the bigger races, including the Singapore Gold Cup in October, which will be his main focus.

“But again, whatever he does this weekend and wherever he goes from here, he will improve.”

Of his two other runners in the Class 3 mile, Le Grange reckoned Mesmerizing (x Cosmic Trigger) may be better suited on the Polytrack while Renzo (x Orpen) is still a work in progress.

“From his record, Mesmerizing would be a better winning option on the Polytrack,” he explained.

“But he’s ticking over nicely and carries no weight (48kgs) up in Class and will have apprentice jockey Rozlan Nazam claiming three (kilos).

“While it’s not the ideal race, there aren’t a lot of races for him so we can’t be choosy.

“With Renzo, we want to try and add another string to his bow.

“We have taken all the gear off (removed visors) and jockey Simon Kok will ride him cold and see if he can run home over the mile.

“He’s raced well before when ridden quiet over sprint trips and placed third at his only run over 1600m (in a Class 4 race on 6 May 2023).

“So, let’s see how he goes and hopefully, he can show us he’s not so one-dimensional going forward”.

Elsewhere on the 10-card meeting, Le Grange was excited to see Boardroom (x Justify) in the SG$75,000 Novice race after his unplaced run in the Gr2 Singapore Guineas on 18 May.

“I have a lot of time for this horse (Boardroom),” said Le Grange.

“He only won his Maiden race (over 1600m on 21 April) two starts back and will appreciate being back in Novice company.

“I would have been more confident over 1600m or 1800m, but we will take 1400m this week.

“I’m very happy with him. He’s done everything right and Bernardo was on him when he won his maiden race, so he knows the horse well.

“The further the better for Boardroom and after this race, he can go to Class 4. Given time, I think he will go through the grades.

“He’s only a three-year-old which makes it tough to get to a level to have a crack at the Singapore Gold Cup, but he would have been that type of horse in the future.

“So, we will play it by ear and see where he takes us before 5 October.”

The first at Kranji is due off at 06h30 on Saturday. The free-to-play Hollywoodbets Punters’ Challenge is available on this racemeeting, don’t forget to get your selections in.

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