Singapore: Friday preview

Friday 23 September

singapore-logoA mixed surface 10 race meeting from Singapore on Friday with races 1, 6 and 8 on the all-weather Polytrack and races 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10 on the Short Course (B), Turf.
And while the globe-trotting Joao Moreira had his colours lowered last Sunday – courtesy of a Vlad Duric four-timer – the Brazilian-ace looks set to bounce back with great book of rides and is the hoop to follow.
Hopefully there is some value to be had as well but with an army of loyal followers at Kranji, Moreira’s mounts are not often missed by punters.
But SUN ENTERPRISE in the first and DESERT VIKING in the fourth don’t appear stand-outs and might just get out to each way odds.
SUN ENTERPRISE in particular has just ‘fair’ form on paper, but his last start (when blinkers added) was a lot better than the result after doing it tough from a wide gate.
Add the Moreira factor and gate one and the 4YO maiden can win in what is a solid Class 5 field.
DESERT VIKING also did it tough through traffic at only his second career start and his work late was excellent.
The Steve Burridge 4YO has winkers added on Friday so a more forward run is expected and while a horse like DIAMOND QUALITY is hard to beat, DESERT VIKING goes mighty close.
Moreira also has strong winning chances on WHAT NOW (race 9), MARTIAL ART (race 7), BULL SHOT (race 6) with WASSAIC (race 10), KATHUMPA (race 5), MORDI (race 8) and SIR FLEETWOOD (race 3) all some hope.
It could be a stellar night for the star hoop.

Best Bets; WHAT NOW (race 9, win), MARTEL (race 10, each-way) and DESERT VIKING/HAPPY SHINKO (race 4, swinger).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 7 (2, 3 and 4) race 8 (5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), race 9 (11) and race 10 (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 10).


Race cards and Larry Foley’s synopsis follows and for updates on all runners go to
Please note the odds listed are “reference odds” only.


Race 1

With recent Class droppers or recent winners making up the majority of these fields, it’s not often we head down the weights in a Class 5 ‘division one’ race to find the winner. But SUN ENTERPRISE looks very well placed and although having never finished closer than sixth at his six career starts, the COMMANDS 4YO can win. Obviously the booking of Joao Moreira helps, but more-so is the fact he went well enough last start when blinkers were added from the widest gate to think gate one is the key. Given his form I would have liked some value but the Moreira factor may have him shorter than a risky proposition should be, so play with some care. VOLKOV, disappointing last start, may be a better betting option but he will need to show his best. His Class 4 form was too good not to think he wins a race like this but his last start fade is obviously a concern. Of the others it will pay to follow QUEEN KELL and FUKU ICHIBAN – both win soon with VERSAILLES PALACE and recent winner, STRAUSS, some hope.
1 CASINO RULER * Appreciates the company but hard to have. 100
2 QUEEN KELL *** In form with blinkers/pacifiers added dropping back from the mile – goes close. 4.00
3 SEACREST ** Significant drop in Class and will be right in this late if race run to suit. 8.00
4 FLYING CLIPPER ** Competitive and appreciates Class 5 but drops back significantly in distance so place looks best. 20
5 FUKU ICHIBAN *** Last start good enough to think he wins soon this company and right in this. 3.50
6 VERSAILLES PALACE *** Goes OK on his day and pay to follow in what should be suitable company. 7.00
7 VOLKOV *** Very disappointing to be first beaten last start but will be better than that in Class 5 and pay to watch closely. 30
8 MONGOLIAN STAR ** Resuming after a nice patch of form and while better over longer he should go OK fresh. 30
9 SPECTA DILEMMA ** Disappointing not to be in the thick of things in this Class – one more chance? 20
10 STRAUSS *** Never a show last start form bad gate but well worth an each way look on best form. 15
11 INCREDIBLE HULK ** Resuming form what was a good run of form but another who needs longer to be at his best. 30
12 SUN ENTERPRISE *** Form reads just fair but last start, his first with blinkers, was good late after jumping form a bad gate and can win after drawing the paint today. 4.50

Race 2

Plenty of solid form to follow in this ‘Maiden’ and while the likes of HANDSOME BACHELOR and CORONET PEAK will win sooner than later, LIGHTNING THIEF showed more than enough on debut to think he wins this. The COURT OF JEWELS 4YO had to jump from the widest gate on debut – always a tough ask on the tight Poly track – so his effort to the wire was excellent. He should also have very much appreciated the outing and the extra 200m looks perfect making the Cliff Brown-trained gelding hard to beat. Of course he will have to be on his game given there a few nice types in this race with CORONET PEAK the biggest danger. The South African-bred gelding has shown plenty of promise at his four race starts with perhaps his inability to string together a few runs his biggest issue. So with a solid run under his belt and the luxury of gate one today, the KAHAL 4YO goes mighty close and well worth a look for the Hill/Munro combination. Obviously HANDSOME BACHELOR keeps then all honest with PACK A PUNCH, although disappointing at his last couple, the best light-weight hope with blinkers added a significant gear change.
1 HANDSOME BACHELOR *** Found the wide gate too tough over a Poly mile but gets every chance back on turf from barrier 2. 3.00
2 CORONET PEAK *** Appreciates solid run under his belt and right in this finish. 3.50
3 DOS EQUIS ** Will improve with race experience and appreciates maiden company – watch tote. 30
4 GLOBAL ZERO ** Has enough trials under his belt to think he is ready for his debut but wide gate will make it tough. 15
5 LIGHTNING THIEF *** Showed more than enough doing it tough on debut to think extra distance suits and can win. 3.00
6 ENERGETIC WARRIOR ** First up after ambitious Juvenile Championship outing – should improve. 20
7 NEW ERA ** Excuses last start and green but did show enough two runs back late to think he improve with race experience. 30
8 PACK A PUNCH *** Disappointing last couple but blinkers added and recent trial with head-gear good – WATCH. 8.00
9 ATIAMURI * Needs to show more than what he has at the trials. 100
10 HIGH TICK ** Last start better than the result and should appreciate the 1400m. 50
11 LOYAL STEED * Will very much appreciate debut run but needs to show something before we consider. 100

Race 3

While you can make a case for ‘quite’ a few in this Class 4 race, QUITE A MAN – desperately unlucky not to win last start – is the one to be on. Normally a terrific horse to follow at each way value, his last start effort with plenty of excuses behind PARK AVENUE suggests he comes in for support and, if John Powell has any luck from the wide gate, can win. But as mentioned he is up against a few horses ready to show their respective best in what looks a very good race with BEE AHEAD leading the pack. The Michael Clements-trained 4YO also had plenty of excuses in a similar affair at his last start and the two-time winner looks very well placed here to show his best. Of the others, CORSAGE might be the value runner and comes right into contention with a drop in Class coupled with a 3kg claim with GOOD TOWKAY, FLY FREELY, SIR FLEETWOOD, MY RACE and DARING JOURNEY all serious winning hopes in what is a very open affair – value the key.
1 CORSAGE *** Significant drop in Class and a couple of her recent good outings suggest this race is ideal and some hope with 3kg claim a factor. 12
2 BEE AHEAD *** Excuses last start and did enough late to think he is ready to show his best – can win. 10
3 MY RACE *** Resuming and form from last campaign, albeit longer, was good enough to think he plays a part in this fresh. 10
4 BAY OF ISLAND ** Better than what he showed first up (excuses) so expect improvement with head-gear removed. 20
5 REEL SCHMICK ** Last start better than it looked but still needs to lift on recent efforts. 20
6 CHASE ME ** Resuming after a couple of shockers but pay to watch tote first up with winkers as goes very well on his day. 12
7 QUITE A MAN *** Looked a good thing beaten last start and hard to beat with any sort of run from the awkward alley. 4.00
8 GOOD TOWKAY *** Looks ready to win in this company and big show with blinkers removed from gate three. 7.00
9 SANDRA ** Eased down last start and happy to ignore as previous run OK. 30
10 SIR FLEETWOOD *** Doing best work on line last start and gets a few favours here from gate two – goes close. 5.00
11 DARING JOURNEY *** Pay to ignore last start on the Poly as his turf form is very good – keep safe. 12
12 FLY FREELY *** Been showing more than enough of late to think he appreciates the 1400m and right in this late. 8.00
13 HAPPY MORE * Resuming after a few shockers. Better than that but would like to see something first. 100

Race 4

Normally a couple of horses like DIAMOND QUALITY and GRAND WOOD PARK – both heavily supported when they head to the track – would be good things to run in the top couple and a fair forecast swinger combination. But this maiden looks to have depth and with some eye-catching late runs and value firmly in mind, I have looked elsewhere with DESERT VIKING and HAPPY SHINKO my top two picks. DESERT VIKING in particular looked to have excuses in running last start before a big effort late had him right in the mix and ‘get on me next start’ written all over him. Throw Moreira on board and the value might be halved but in this field he still might provide each-way odds which would be a bonus. Likewise, HAPPY SHINKO showed plenty late (coincidentally in the same race) and is worth following. I also like the fact the Cliff Brown-trained 4YO has had to jump from wide gates at both starts so I expect a more aggressive ride with blinkers back on from an inside draw. Obviously with DIAMOND QUALITY likely to be close to even money and looking every chance, I am looking at value but confident the form of those two will hold up and worth following. Add GRAND WOOD PARK – she wins sooner than later, BOOMZ and worth giving FIFTH DAN one more chance on what looked a good recent trial.
1 FOREIGN EXCHANGE ** Will improve with race experience and blinkers added but tough gate makes this tough. 50
2 BOOMZ *** Always thereabouts and going to very much appreciate the inside alley – can win. 4.00
3 AL ROBERTO * Newcomer who has had issues at the barriers so play with care from bad gate on debut. 50
4 DESERT VIKING *** Turned in an eye-catching run late last start and gives every indication he goes super today with winkers added. 10
5 HAPPY SHINKO *** Had bad gates to contend with at both starts and nicely home last time out so very much appreciates the good gate and blinkers back on – WATCH. 20
6 SWEET PEA * Another who has had absolutely no luck with barriers but improves for the experience. 50
7 GRAND WOOD PARK *** Never involved until big effort late last start from bad gate and will be a huge show in this fresh. 3.40
8 HIGH FLY MARCO ** Improves for the first up run but exotics at value looks best. 50
9 DIAMOND QUALITY *** Beaten as odds on pop last start but close enough to think he can make quick amends. 2.50
10 FIFTH DAN *** Disappointing not to have knocked in a win with the support he gets but worth another look with nice recent trial and winkers removed. 10
11 LITTLE DRAGON ** Did it tough on debut so very much appreciates the outing and worth a look in exotics. 40

Race 5

These Class 4/5 staying events do make for interesting races but tough for punters with all horses looking to have some hope. And while tempted to go for value, I think MAGIC ICON – who will get support – is the best winning option in what could be a race with more than one twist and turn. Alan Munro, who won on the USTINOV gelding two starts ago and placed last time out, retains the ride and from gate three, should get the run of the race (with early pace expected on his inside and from wide) and no reason not to think he can knock in win number three. But as mentioned these races are often a raffle and with value you in mind it might pay to keep ALVITO safe with just 50kg on his back. The Australian bred 7YO has been a bit of an underachiever but his last run was a beauty and looks well placed to go well. I am also keen on SADDLERS CREEK (hopefully value) with MARAETI and SILVER ELEMENT likely to set a good pace and be in this a long way. Go the field for skinny end of exotics.
1 SADDLERS CREEK *** Obviously appreciates step up to what is a more suitable distance and in form – goes close with claim a factor. 12
2 SILVER ELEMENT *** Winkers added and will be looking at making every post a winner in a race that looks his caper. 7.00
3 MARAETI *** Broke through for overdue victory last time out and will be thereabouts on pace throughout again. 5.00
4 HONEST BROKER ** Looks the type who runs all day so distance suits and pay to keep safe in exotics. 8.00
5 MAGIC ICON *** In very good form and no reason to think he isn’t right in this at the business end. 4.00
6 JOYFUL HEART MAN *** Broke through for maiden win when blinkers added last start and pay to follow. 7.00
7 GOLDEN FRIENDS ** Ignore last start over shorter distance in unsuitable grade as he will find this to his liking. 30
8 THE KATHUMPA *** The type that wont win out of turn but surely his turn is coming soon – each way. 6.00
9 SHINY LION ** Competitive but prefer in something a tad easier and on the Poly. 50
10 ZAC DETONATOR ** Got the chocolates via protest last start and should keep a few honest if at his best. 12
11 ALVITO *** Close up last start, extra distance suits, no weight – big winning show. 20

Race 6

An interesting Class 5 ‘division 2’ field with a few horses having recent winning form, a couple ‘due’ and others ‘overdue’. And while I gave recent winner, LUCKY FIND, more than a second glance, I’m going to give BULL SHOT (very much in the overdue category) another chance to show what he has to offer. The FALVELON 6YO looked a ‘monty’ to knock in a win when he dropped to Class 5 in May but has been very frustrating for followers, often with support. But in what is just a fair field and having the advantage of drawing gate one with Moreira on board, BULL SHOT has to be given one more chance to lead from ‘go to whoa’. But as mentioned the horse he has to beat is LUCKY FIND for trainer Brian Dean and novice rider, R Zawari. LUCKY FIND won a similar affair three starts ago and with excuses last start (saddle slipped) he remains in form and a very solid option. Throw in RECYCLE TRIUMPH for value and a host of others for exotics in what is a wide open affair.
1 SPECIAL SOLDIER ** Goes well enough on his day and 4kg claim handy but wide gate makes winning very tough. 15
2 LUCKY FIND *** Might pay to ignore last start where saddle slipped as form is good and 4kg claim wont hurt. 5.00
3 BULL SHOT *** Overdue for a result but might not get a better chance after drawing gate one in a race with no stand-out. 4.00
4 RECYCLE TRIUMPH *** Always a show and certainly appreciates the extra 200m – each way all the way. 12
5 ZERO LIMIT *** Good, solid placing last start and worth following. 8.00
6 SPECIAL ACCOUNT *** Always going to be coming into his own late but needs race run to suit back-markers to win. 7.00
7 STEEL CUT ** Struggled a bit of late but very much appreciates better gate – exotics. 40
8 LOVE ACADEMY *** Got his act together last start similar affair and pay to follow. 6.00
9 MR VANTASTIC *** Maiden status is an obvious concern at start 34 but in form and has to be a show. 6.00
10 FLEET FOOT ** Awkward start costly last time out and pay to keep safe as goes OK. 25
11 JUS BEAT IT ** Looked to have had plenty of chances of late and need to be at his best from wide gate. 30

Race 7

Small fields in staying races always seem to throw up a surprise or two and while I will be going very wide in exotics in this race, MARTIAL ART looks very hard to beat. The Laurie Laxon-trained stayer is in good form and with just 50kg he gets a great chance to knock in a win heading towards bigger things in November. The TIGER HILL gelding has a terrific record over distance in Singapore and should really win races like this if any hope with a light weight in the Gold Cup. But it will be a tricky affair and a horse like MAURICE UTRILLO also looks very well placed to show his best. The Irish-bred gelding has a terrific winning record in Singapore (five from 18) and at the handicap conditions should go mighty close to knocking in win number six. Throw in Shaw’s other runner, SOUTH EASTER as a winning chance and the two-time Gold Cup winner, EL DORADO for exotics.
1 EL DORADO ** Big ask at the weights to win but tough and the two-time Singapore Gold Cup winner keeps a few of these honest. 20
2 MAURICE UTRILLO *** Showed more than enough last start to think he plays a part in this – big show. 5.00
3 SOUTH EASTER *** Tough stayer who looks suited to show his best heading to the Gold Cup. 3.00
4 MARTIAL ART *** Foot well and truly on the till and looks the hardest to beat. 2.00
5 GORDON ROBERTS ** Big step up in Class but in great form and pay to keep safe in what is a small but tricky field. 7.00
6 KING FAALCON ** Honest over this distance but place looks best in this company. 20
7 QUINTA DE LAGO ** Huge step up in Class but exotics not out of the question in small field. 50

Race 8

A tough Novice event with the 3YO’s looking like holding all the aces at both the weights and form. Picking which 3YO is the tricky part with three last start winners and three well worth following. Of the last start winners, SERGEANT PEPPER had heavy support on debut and although just getting the job done he did win and can go on with the job today. He is fresh after that win but a recent trial suggests he has trained-on well and hard to beat with senior stable rider, Barend Vorster, taking the ride for Pat Shaw. But don’t underestimate his stable-mate LET’S SEE ACTION who has looked a likely type at three career starts. The FLYING SPUR gelding backed up a good debut (behind SERGEANT PEPPER) with a strong win before never really being in the hunt in Class 4 company. I think he appreciates the company and conditions of the Novice event and will be involved somewhere late. HARD STUFF will have support and should go well on what he showed winning on debut with BIG DINERO and MORDI also some hope. YARRADALE STAR and GOLDEN TREE for the novelties and forget the rest.
1 HIGGS BOSON * Back to his winning trip but seriously out of form and hard to recommend with 58kg. 200
2 GOLDEN TREE ** Racing in good form but giving weight to a few smart types so place a fair result. 20
3 SHOPPING LIST * Starts an issue and prefer later on. 200
4 SEAL HOLDER * Very hard to have on what we saw at debut. 200
5 BIGDINERO *** Consistent type and won this course and distance recently so has to be included somewhere if any luck from awkward gate. 6.00
6 HARD STUFF *** Nice debut win suggest he will certainly handle this company with 51.5kg and goes close despite wide draw. 4.00
7 LET’S SEE ACTION *** Scored a strong win on the Poly before finding it hard in Class 4 last time, well-placed here from gate one and should prove hard to beat with winkers added. 6.50
8 MORDI *** Was too slick for is opposition last time with blinkers added, has speed and looks the one to run down from inside draw – keep following. 4.00
9 SERGEANT PEPPER *** Won well enough on debut to seriously consider to win again with recent 1,000m trial under his belt. Can win again. 2.50
10 YARRADALE STAR ** Looks an improving type and could sneak a place at odds. 40

Race 9

Class 3 races are tough to win. Most horses are in form and strong types with few ‘up and comers’ getting an easy ride through this grade. However, WHAT NOW, who oddly took four starts to break his maiden status, looks to have found his feet, is flying and hard to beat. The STATE CITY gelding has won two of his last three starts but is was probably his excellent last start second in this company behind the smart NANDOWRA that has him winning this. He has drawn awkwardly but Joao Moreira should have enough horse underneath him early to get a handy enough position and with no issues in running, is the one to be on. It won’t be a walk in the park though – Class 3’s never are – and it might be worth keeping a horse like ALACARTE safe. The Steve Burridge-trained 5YO is one of the most underrated horses at Kranji and often goes round at very generous odds considering his ability and excellent career record of five wins and 12 places from 30 career starts. He knows how to win over this distance as well (three wins over 1400m) and well worth an each-way look. Of the rest I will be keeping an eye on the Pat Shaw-trained FUNCA as the ARGENTINEAN 4YO does look close to finding his feet in Singapore with plenty of others to keep safe including PEACEFUL WARRIOR, SHINING GLORY, KNIGHT SPIRIT and perhaps JOYLUCK at odds.
1 FUNCA *** Has gone OK in three runs since arriving and will continue to improve with nice gate a factor today. 12
2 IMAGERY ** Disappointing effort last time but form prior suggests he will go OK races like this. 15
3 KNIGHT SPIRIT *** Made up ground late last time over this trip and should be in the finish again if race run to suit swoopers. 8.00
4 MECCA STAR ** Appreciates first run back over the shorter trip and has won this distance before, follow at value. 25
5 PARK VIEW ** Resuming and pay to keep safe at odds on what he showed at Singapore debut. 40
6 ALACARTE *** Usually thereabouts and will be right in this late – watch. 20
7 BE A MAN * Hasn’t threatened in two runs back after a freshen-up and hard to recommend here. 40
8 JOYLUCK ** Racing in top form but almost exclusively on the Poly over longer – keep safe but a query on surface/distance. 20
9 SHINING GLORY *** Led all the way for a strong win last time and although this much harder he likes to lead and could take catching with light load. 7.00
10 PEACEFUL WARRIOR *** Lightly raced galloper who scored a nice win last time and should handle to rise in grade and go well, keep following. 5.00
11 WHAT NOW *** Talented 4YO who showed a brilliant return when narrowly beaten last time, should improve and win today. 2.50
12 PACINO * Outside gate is a worry and hard to be confident of a win over this trip, prefer others. 50
13 TANHA STRIKE ** Newcomer from New Zealand with three wins, has looked OK at the trials and may need the run on debut. 30
14 BIG GALLANT ** Hasn’t quiet shown the promise he did in his first prep, last start OK but needs to improve. 30
15 BEST BID ** Did it tough last start so happy to ignore and take on his honest form with blinkers added first time today. 30

Race 10

A tricky Class 4 race to finish the meeting with no real stand-out, plenty of good form and a surprise or two on the cards. And while beaten a fair way into third last start behind the bolter, BENJI’S EMPIRE, MARTEL gives every indication he wins soon in Class 4 and this looks suitable. The Laurie Laxon-trained gelding has been placed or thereabouts at his three starts back in Class 4 and usually goes around at good enough value to have a solid each way look. And as it looks the type of race where that type of punting value could be the way to go. SPLITSVILLE usually flies under the radar of most punters and the Desmond Koh-trained 6YO is going well enough to think he is right in this. Benny Woodworth takes the ride and the Malaysian based hoop has been having a good time in Singapore lately and can spring what would be a minor surprise in the lucky last. Plenty of other chances will make the dividend board interesting with the likes BLACK RAIN likely to get support and show his best. Although disappointing for the low odds on offer last start he was thereabouts around our top pick, MARTEL, and that form is going to hold up. Throw a blanket over a number of these including MANDINGO, WASSAIC and CHIVE BLOOM to name but three.
1 CHIVE BLOOM *** Had support on debut and while disappointing he appreciates the hit out in Singapore and looks for sharp improvement with blinkers and extra ground. 6.00
2 MARTEL *** Racing in good form and hit the line well last start – close to winning again. 8.00
3 WASSAIC *** Freshened after he turned some solid form in to a nice win last time and should go on with the job and prove hard to beat again. 3.00
4 BIEBER ** Disappointing with excuses last time (respiratory) and might pay to give another chance, can bounce back fresh. 20
5 BLACK RAIN *** Battled on OK at first run in this company with support and pay to follow. 5.00
6 SPLITSVILLE *** Good effort in a similar affair last time has him playing a part in the finish; follow each way at hopefully value. 20
7 CHIEF SECRETARY ** Blinkers off after fair effort and will need to lift to trouble this lot, exotics only. 30
8 MANDINGO *** Racing well at the minute and gate one is a bonus with Vorster aboard and handicap weight, should run well. 8.00
9 SUPER VELOCITY * Resuming and may need the run. 200
10 DEEP POCKETS *** Becoming costly for his followers but worth another chance on strong effort late last start – keep safe. 7.00
11 BUKIT ROSE WOOD ** Excuses last start and showed prior to that he handles the company – right in this late. 30
12 ANAK PIASAU ** Would prefer to see in Class 5 but last run was very good late and have to respect on a repeat of that effort. 30
click here for the racecard

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