Singapore this Friday

Friday 29 November

First Tothelign

No grey area: First Tothelign (John Powell) is way too good as he streets his rivals at debut – Singapore Racing April 26

It’s a little known fact that only two current trainers in Singapore had “Champion Trainer” listed on their respective CV before setting up base at Kranji. Michael Walker – who dominated the New Zealand training ranks for years – is one, but the other is harder to pick and makes for a great racing quiz night question. The name we are looking for is Michael Clements, who finished on-top of the trainers table in Zimbabwe many moons ago before making Singapore his home in the 90’s. Clements would have no illusions of winning the title in Singapore anytime soon – he currently sits 22nd on the ladder – but a recent run of red-hot form has him the trainer to follow with some serious winning hopes again this Friday. And given the quietly-spoken handler usually bats with strike-rate of around 5%, his current run of nine winners from his last 30 or so starts suggests the stable is flying and can continue at his 30% strike-rate for the remainder of the season. Somewhat aptly, given Clements himself looks on a mission, four of his runners on Friday share the “mission” moniker (and raced by the Bookby Stable) and all look winning hopes. FLYING MISSION won very well at his race debut and given that form has held up, he looks a live light-weight hope in what looks a good Graduation event over 1200m (race 3) with LUCKY MISSION – who had no luck on his debut – also a big winning show at his second career start in race 5. SECRET MISSION faces tough opposition in FIRST TOTHELIGN and PEACE NO WAR but will more than hold his own in race 7 while GOLDEM MISSION looks extremely well placed back on the Polytrack to win the lucky last. Clements’ other runner, I LIKE, is a last start winner and has to be respected in what looks a similar affair in race 4. Manoel Nunes – who is also enjoying a rich vein of form – is on-board all the Clements runners and the pair should enjoy a profitable evening. Please note there is only eight races scheduled for Friday night – all on the Polytrack.


Best Bets; (RIEDEL race 2, win), (FIRST TOTHELIGN race 7, win) and (ILUMINADO race 6, value).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 5 (1, 2, 5 and 6), race 6 (Field), race 7 (3), race 8 (2, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12).


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

A KSD for claiming riders over 1200m kicks off the all polytrack programme. In these races the best bet is often to find something reasonably well drawn, an on-pacer with poly credentials and one of the more proven hoops aboard. PROVIDENCE has been knocking on the door with seconds at his past three outings in this grade, he is well drawn and with Shafiq to ride from a good alley will be hard to beat. Sam Chua generally places his horses well; CAUTION is down in grade and prior to his last run in Class 4 he had been running in harder races on turf and over longer. His last win was at this trip on this surface and in similar grade; with Joseph See up he should be ready to perform. Laurie Laxon has HOPKINS engaged, he is a tough old-timer who is looking for a hat-trick after dead-heating when carrying 58kg in a similar affair last start; the Malaysian rider Reuven is a promising apprentice and with 55kg on his back he should give him a good ride. The top apprentice Harry Kasim is on IRISH LIGHTNING; he managed his first placing at 1200m last start and while a 1000m specialist, he can give plenty of cheek but could well get the staggers late.

1 PROVIDENCE *** Has been runner-up at past three KSD runs. From good draw will be hard to beat. 3.50
2 HOPKINS *** Dead-heated in Laxon quinella in similar affair last start. In line for a hattrick and will race well. 4.00
3 IRISH LIGHTNING *** Placed at 1200m last start but is much better over shorter. Will give plenty of cheek but could be gasping late. 5.00
4 GOLDEN DOMINATOR * Prefer others. 25
5 DRAGON NINETYNINE * Form poor but will appreciate being back on polytrack. 50
6 CAUTION *** Will find this much easier than recent outings and last win was at this trip. Keep safe. 5.00
7 PICTURE ** Coming back from 1800m but form has been good and could surprise. 10
8 SUPER ZUCCA ** Has changed stables from Laurie Laxon. Only win was at a mile but could show up. 14
9 OUR ALCHEMIST * Yet to turn base metal into gold. 50
10 URBAN LEGEND * Never got in it last start and this looks too short. 25
11 SUDDEN INTEREST ** Has been battling away at recent outings and only win was at this trip. 14


Race 2

A Class 4 over 1700m with every horse having a realistic chance of winning. RIEDEL looked a good thing beaten last start when he missed the kick and ran on strongly late; with a 2kg claim for Shafiq if he gets a trouble free run he should be hard to beat. STAGE BRIGHT is racing well in weaker company; he meets CASINO KING 6kg better for a halflength defeat and MR ARMSTRONG 3kg better for 0.8 length; with Alan Munro to steer for Takaoka he is weighted to win. MR ARMSTRONG steps up to 1700m from a mile and is up in grade; down 2.5kg in weight Nunes stays aboard and he should be handy all the way. Old PHANTOM KNIGHT’s last win was in this grade, surface and distance; with Zawari’s claim he will carry 3Kg less than that occasion and he will be finishing strongly late. CASINO KING led and fought on strongly last time in a similar event, he and LONESOME ME are likely to go forward and they will be hard to run down with LONESOME ME appreciating the return to the polytrack. SOUTH GATE, DARK PULSE, DRAGON and ZAC SEDUCTION are all chances.

1 PHANTOM KNIGHT *** Last win was in this Class and distance when he carried 57kg. Nine time winner well in at the weights. Should race well. 6.00
2 RIEDEL *** Looked a good thing beaten when he missed the start at his last outing. With 2kg claim if he has a trouble-free run should be hard to beat. 4.00
3 CASINO KING *** Led and just missed in similar event last time. Harry Kasim stays on and he will be up the front for a long way. 6.00
4 LONESOME ME ** Will work across and lead from his barrier; will enjoy being back on the polytrack and could be hard to pass. 12
5 MR ARMSTRONG *** Won an easier race over a mile last outing. Drops 2.5kg and has 100m further to travel. Nunes stays on and should race well again. 5.50
6 SOUTH GATE ** Best form is on turf but will appreciate coming back to the mile. From the good gate should be handy all the way. 14
7 DARK PULSE ** Never in it in race won by stablemate last start. Look for improvement with Corey Brown taking the mount. 16
8 DRAGON ** Huge effort two starts back over a mile on turf. Talented when right but has not placed in four polytrack outings. 14
9 STAGE BRIGHT *** Racing well. Meets CASINO KING 6kg better for 0.5 length and MR ARMSTRONG 3kg better for 0.8 length. Weighted to win. 5.50
10 ZAC SEDUCTION ** Blinkers helped and she ran on strongly to win last start. This is harder but with only 51.5kg should be in the finish again. 16


Race 3

A Graduation over 1200m with a small field but several smart performers engaged. DESERT FOX was at one time considered a legitimate challenger to WAR AFFAIR. He needed the run when resuming over 1200m on turf and has won over 1000m on the poly; with Corey Brown from the ace should strip fitter and get a gun run. FLYING MISSION looked smart on debut beating subsequent winner SOUTHERN GENERAL. Nunes stays on and with 50kg he will be hard to pass. BORDEAUX is a horse of considerable promise, he has chased home some good ones in RITE OF SPRING and PEACE NO WAR at his last two outings and with only 50kg and Rueven’s claim, he should be in the finish. RAPPOR will also find this easier than chasing WAR AFFAIR, his recent trial was good and he has won two from three on the polytrack. SOUTHERN LORD disappointed in his first Singapore preparation but he is a Group winner in NZ, VECTIS and MANGATANGI also cannot be ignored.

1 SOUTHERN LORD ** Blinker pacifiers on. Group winner in NZ resuming after a disappointing first Singapore preparation. Was pushed in recent trial and may need the run. 12
2 MANGATANGI ** Tongue tie on. Struggled at 1400m on turf last outing and will appreciate being back to 1200m. Speedy but this first start on poly and will need to get across. 10
3 HAPPY FOREVER * Has been missing the start and wont want to do that here. 33
4 VECTIS ** Ran home very nicely on Singapore debut after being slowly away. Won at Chepstow over 1000m in UK and could well be suited here. Watch for support. 10
5 DESERT FOX *** Needed the run when resuming. With senior rider and the ace will be hard to beat. 3.50
6 RAPPOR *** Will find this easier than chasing WAR AFFAIR. Trialed nicely recently and has won two from three on the poly. Should give a bold sight. 6.00
7 BORDEAUX *** Good efforts at past two outings chasing RITE OF SPRING and PEACE NO WAR. With no weight should be hard to hold out. 4.00
8 FLYING MISSION *** Strong win over 1200m on debut beating SOUTHERN GENERAL. Should be hard to beat again. 3.50


Race 4

A Class 5 for the battlers over 1900m in which there may not be a great deal of speed unless the emergency CONQUEST gets a start. DRAGON G is still a maiden but he is usually up on the speed and will fight on strongly; he has the good horse’s weight of 59kg but is due to break through. He meets I LIKE ,who narrowly beat him last outing, 2.5kg better. Both horses are dour stayers and should be right in the finish. The Takaoka-pair NORTH STAR and SAINT VALLEY are both one pacers who will appreciate some tempo. SAINT VALLEY will get back and run on while NORTH STAR’s last two efforts in this Class at 1900m have been solid and Alan Munro has taken the mount; both could be value. ROCKY GARDEN is far from reliable but is always a threat in these kind of races; with Corey Brown up he should get every chance. LIGHTNING WHEELS is another bred to stay all day, he just battled last start but could be further improved. CLASSIC THUNDER and CARRY ON FAMOUS could get in the mix.

1 DRAGON G *** One paced maiden who battles away and bound to be there again. Meets I LIKE 2.5kg better for narrow defeat. 4.00
2 SAINT VALLEY *** Gets a long way back but if there is a solid tempo will be running on late. Will appreciate being in Class 5. 7.00
3 I LIKE *** Got home narrowly over DRAGON G in similar event last start. Up 2.5kg but always a chance in these types of events. 5.00
4 ALVITO ** Has never won on the poly and likes it even longer than this. Will get a mile out of his ground and run on late. 33
5 RISKY VENTURE * Poor effort last time but has won at this trip. Recent trial only fair. 33
6 ROCKY GARDEN *** Did not miss by much last time in similar race. Far from reliable but always a chance in this grade 6.00
7 THE GIANT * Visor on. Has not threatened in any of his Singapore starts and needs to improve. 25
8 LIGHTNING WHEELS ** Winkers on. Very one-paced last start but bred to stay and could improve. 10
9 NORTH STAR ** Last two runs at this distance and in this Class have been solid. 14 start maiden but Takaoka-trained and could show up. 10
10 CARRY ON FAMOUS ** Battled on for a placing in a weak race last start. Could be thereabouts again. 10
11 BIG HARVEST * Sixteen starts without a placing. Recent trial was better but prefer to see. 25
12 CLASSIC THUNDER ** Battled on last start and gets Lisa Allpress. Could improve. 10
13 CONQUEST ** Disappointed last start but could give a sight from the ace if he gets a run. 10


Race 5

A Restricted Maiden over 1200m with a promising newcomer and some others that have shown a bit. LUCKY MISSION was well supported and extremely unlucky on debut being held up and unable to get clear until very late; with Nunes up again he gets a chance to make amends. BARNBURGH LAD resumed with a solid effort on turf where he had excuses not to finish a lot closer. He is perfectly drawn today and should be on the speed all the way. Laurie Laxon is unveiling another Oscar stable runner, BIG MAVERICK’s halfbrother, JOE, who is by Darci Brahma and has looked nice at the trials; he should race very well on debut with Vagner Leal up. A number of the other chances are drawn wide; PERFECT CHALLENGER gets back and runs on, though he can find trouble; D’ARTAGNAN resumed with a good effort but will require a positive ride from Alan Munro and FLAMING FIREHEART is also drawn out wide. For the others watch the market is the best advice.

1 PERFECT CHALLENGER ** Never far away and runs on late. Chance again. 8.00
2 BARNBURGH LAD *** Resumed with solid effort when excuses not to finish closer on turf. Perfectly drawn and should be on the speed all the way 5.50
3 D’ARTAGNAN ** Caught wide and fought on when third on resuming. Poorly drawn and could suffer the same fate. 8.00
4 FLAMING FIREHEART * Caught wide last outing and draw does not help again. 20
5 JOE *** Half brother to BIG MAVERICK by Darci Brahma. Has been trialing well and should make a bold debut. 3.50
6 LUCKY MISSION *** Unlucky on debut when held up for a run. Was supported on that occasion and gets a chance to make amends. 3.00
7 MISSION * Blinkers on. First start. Pushed in trial and prefer to see. 33
8 OVERPOWER * Had some support on debut and copped strife in the run. Could improve. 20
9 PHARMA BROWNE * Brother to BROWNE’S ANATOMY. Has not shown a great deal at the trials. Gets top rider. Watch market. 20
10 SPUN GOLD * Half-brother to SAMURAI GOLD. Has had several trials but prefer to see. 33
11 COGITO ERGO SUM * Japanese bred 2YO having first start. Later. 50
12 NOVEMBER SUCCESS * Northern Hemisphere bred 2YO having first start. Unlikely. 50
13 TEOCHEW BARRISTER ** Can find trouble but work late on occasion suggests he could pop up at long odds. 100
14 LEADERSHIP * Shown nothing to date. 100


Race 6

ILUMINADO looks extremely well placed back on the Polytrack in this company to get back into the winners circle. The seven-time winner won in a similar affair the last time he raced on this surface back in August and no reason to think he doesn’t turn some solid turf form into a result. In saying that the last time he won was with a red-hot Harry Kassim claiming so Steve Burridge has put some faith into the malaysian, R Rueven, with his 3kg claim an obvious factor. While he could be a stand-out from gate one, the proverbial blanket does go over the rest of the field with all having recent Poly wins with the exception of FLYING TEMPO, who comes into this after winning on the turf at just his third run in Singapore.

1 ILUMINADO *** Back on recent winning track and company. Improves and can win. 3.00
2 JOYOUS EXPRESS ** Ran on well last start after dead-heating with his stablemate GOLIATH two starts back this track and trip and goes close again. 4.00
3 GOLIATH ** Dead-heated last start and right in this again. 4.00
4 FLYING TEMPO ** Found his feet in Singapore winning on the turf at third Singapore start and pay to follow. 4.00
5 MEAISIN ** Blinkers off and another who should improve back on most recent winning surface. 20
6 BOWIE KNIFE ** Up in Class but always a threat in Poly races this trip. 6.00


Race 7

A BM 74 where those on the down escalator meets those on the up. FIRST TOTHELIGN had carried all before him before finishing 4th to HOLY EMPIRE over 1400m at his last start before spelling; he won his only polytrack start and his trial form has been exemplary. The blinkers go on, 1100m first up should be ideal and with John Powell up and 54kg he should be able to lead all the way. The tongue-tie comes off the promising PEACE NO WAR who showed the benefit of gelding when he bolted in last start; from the ace with Corey Brown up he will be finishing strongly. SECRET MISSION has put in good efforts at past two starts over 1000m, he has raced well at 1100m in the past and with Manoel Nunes steering will be there at the end. EATON’S GOLD won well in Class 4 last outing over 1000; this is tougher but he drops 5.5 kg and should be thereabouts again. There are plenty of other chances with the ratings droppers EXCAVATOR and U GOT IT candidates to show up, as well as SUPERB SUCCESS and BM WIN.

1 EXCAVATOR ** Slipping down the ratings from a high of 97 and was only 3 len off DAVIDE three starts back over this trip in Open Class. Watch. 20
2 SECRET MISSION *** Good efforts at past two starts over 1000m since resuming. Has raced well at 1100m in the past and will be hard to beat. 7.00
3 FIRST TOTHELIGN *** Blinkers on. Promising galloper resuming. Finished 4th to HOLY EMPIRE at last start and three starts back beat EMPRESS WU. Trialing well and won his only polytrack start. The one to beat. 2.50
4 EATONS GOLD ** Won well in Class 4 last outing over 1000. This is tougher but drops 5.5 kg and should be thereabouts again. 12
5 SUPERB SUCCESS ** Going for a hat-trick. Has changed stables from John O’Hara to Bruce Marsh. This is tougher but has won seven times on the poly, four at 1100m and cannot be ignored. 12
6 BM WIN ** Will relish being back on polytrack. Best at 1000m but normally not far away and will give a bold sight. 14
7 GOLDEN RABBIT ** Did not finish off last start but previous effort was good and trialed well recently. In the mix but may want something a bit easier. 16
8 PEACE NO WAR *** Tongue tie off. Showed the benefit of gelding when he bolted in last start. Well drawn and hard to beat again. 3.50
9 SPEED DEMON * Resuming. Has changed stables. Smart performer who had respiratory issues last start. Watch for support. 50
10 IKING * Well travelled galloper who has scored at Rockhampton, Doomben, Goulburn and Canberra. Trialing ok but poorly drawn and prefer to see. 25
11 U GOT IT * Another one sliding down the ratings who has not won for over two years. Coming back in distance and prefer others. 33
12 LUWAK COFFEE * Game little fellow whose last two runs have not been up to his usual level. Placed once from two poly attempts. Take on trust. 33
13 BIGDINERO ** Racing consistently at this level and strong chance if he gets a run. 8.00


Race 8

A BM 67 over 1200m finishes off the programme. GOLDEN MISSION will relish being back on poly, he goes well at this journey and with Nunes on top should be handy all the way. CHEETAH ON FIRE ran on well last start he has a good record at this journey and will be closing late. SELECT GATHERING has won four from 10 on the poly, he sprinted well last start to get there late; with Shafiq steering he should get the gun run again. BENJI’S RULE has run on well at his last two poly outings over 1200m; nicely drawn, he has Lisa Allpress and could surprise. Other chances include FLYING ZERO, SELIGI, WHAT’S DAT all of whom are unreliable but if they put their best foot forward could win.

1 FLYING ZERO ** Resumed and not knocked around when beaten last start. This is easier and the claim will help. 12
2 SELECT GATHERING *** Has won four from 10 on the poly. Sprinted well last start to get there late. Should get the gun run again. 5.00
3 SPYDER ** Pacifier off. Resumed with decent effort in higher grade. Has failed at all three poly attempts but this is easier. 14
4 CHEETAH ON FIRE *** Ran on well last start. Has good record at this journey and will be closing late. 5.00
5 MACHFIVE ** Fought on well over 1000m last start. Extra 200m suits and should be thereabouts. 10
6 ROYAL STYLE ** Hard to follow but if having his day could make an impression from the good alley. 16
7 SELIGI * Poorly drawn and has never won on the poly but often thereabouts. Senior rider may help. 16
8 VAGABOND * Blinkers off. Poorly drawn and two Singapore runs have been ordinary. 25
9 WHAT’S DAT ** Only battled last start after previous good win. Senior rider may help. 10
10 GOLDEN MISSION *** Excuses last start (respiratory) and will relish being back on poly. Goes well at this journey and with Nunes on top should be handy all the way. 4.00
11 IMACRUISER ** Recent form looks ordinary but did have excuses last state. Value. 33
12 BENJI’S RULE ** Ran on well at last two poly outings over 1200m. Nicely drawn, has Lisa Allpress and could surprise. 10
13 PISTOL DAWN * Unlikely. 33
14 PRINCETON * No 50


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