Six races from Singapore on Sunday and while the meeting opens with a ‘battlers’ mile on the Poly, the rest of the card looks a beauty and highlighted by a couple of very good horses with one eye on bigger assignments on International weekend.
BETTER THAN EVER (race 10) has a mixed run of form since his record-breaking unbeaten run came to an end back in November 2010 – a point empathized at his last run two weeks back when pulled up after clipping heels in the home-straight.
All has looked rosy at the track since for the Champ and it’s great to see him back at the races for what will be his final test before a tilt at the $3million Singapore Airlines International Cup on May 20.
But with 59kg to carry against some very nice types on the minimum, it will be a tough ask for the FRENCH DEPUTY 5YO and THE COMEDIAN might be the one who makes most of his light impost.
The Michael Freedman-trained 5YO was in sparkling domestic form before a solid but unfruitful Dubai campaign and no reason to think he can’t get straight back into the winning groove at Kranji.
And while BETTER THAN EVER has some 16 wins to his name (and unbeaten after 12!), a talented 3YO in SHUTTLE MAN might just steal some of the limelight on Sunday as he tries to stretch his unbeaten run to four in race 11.
Like BETTER THAN EVER, SHUTTLE MAN, will be using the run as a warm-up for Group glory on International weekend.
The TAIKI SHUTTLE 3yo’s is up against some nice types today but should take his unbeaten run into the $500,000 Singapore Guineas on May 18 and a date with destiny in the form of the very talented SUPER EASY.
It is a mixed surface meeting with race 7 on the all-weather Polytrack and races 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 on the Long Course (E), Turf.
Best Bets; SHUTTLE MAN (race 11, win), FINDERS KEEPERS (race 8, win) and SMART GENERAL (race 9, value).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 9 (Field), race 10 (1 and 2), race 11 (3) and race 12 (1 and 7).
.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; 3 TERRA FIRMA – 9 REVERSE TAKEOVER – 7 MONGOLIAN STAR – 2 CHEVY
Races don’t come much tougher than this and it looks a case of taking value on the day or conversely waiting to see who gets stable support. And a horse that might provide both is TERRA FIRMA. The Steve Burridge-trained 4YO has been ‘specked’ at a couple of recent outings and happy to think he had enough excuses to follow in this even race. He should be at each-way odds regardless (you would think) and Stephen Baster from gate possibly gate 5 looks a good combination. But you can make as good as winning case – if not better in some cases – for most of these and it is a raffle with REVERSE TAKEOVER, MONGOLIAN STAR and last start winner, CHEVY, all fair options. Keep the emergency, ZAC NIRVANA safe if he gets a start as he could surprise stepping up in distance this company and MERLIN could be a good thing if he gets a start!
1 DANGER MONEY ** Bad gate an issue but worth a look on much improved effort last start similar affair coupled with good recent trial. 20
2 CHEVY *** Won well enough last start stepping up to his trip and pay to follow. 5.00
3 TERRA FIRMA *** Hasn’t been in the hunt last couple for various reasons but runs solid enough to think he gives this a shake. 12
4 WEIGHT IN GOLD *** Usually value and usually in the mix in races like this – each way. 12
5 AUTOMATION GOLD * Struggles as a rule. 200
6 DAN NOBLE *** Disappointing last start similar affair but better than that and pay to watch for support. 12
7 MONGOLIAN STAR *** Will need an ounce of luck from the awkward alley but form good and in this a long way. 6.00
8 CHAN’S ELECTRA *** Continues to run well without a result for patient followers. In the mix. 5.00
9 REVERSE TAKEOVER *** Another who continued terrific run of form without a result but must break maiden status soon. 6.00
10 ZERO LIMIT *** Yet another maiden who looks read to break through – mile might be what he wants – keep safe. 10
11 SILENT FAITH *** Wide gate an issue but very much appreciates first up run and step up in distance – each way. 10
12 MY WAY *** Been thereabouts of late and might get out to value in what looks a race with plenty of chances. 20
13 ZAC WARRIOR *** Good work late last start, likes this surface, will go well this grade and could show up first time over the mile with blinkers downgraded to winkers. 8.00
14 MERLIN *** Huge drop in Class. Wins a race like this if he gets a start – follow. 3.00
Selections; 4 FINDERSKEEPERS – 3 MR TIMELY – 1 CAPABLANCA – 9 MY SON
With most of the top sprinters back in the barn waiting for the KrisFlyer on May 20, a few of the ‘solid’ types (read non-winners) get their chance in this open sprint. FINDERSKEEPERS looks well placed and while not winning since stepping up to this company he has looked good and certainly shown enough to win. In fact he had excuses last start not to be in the mix and some of his recent efforts suggest he wins this from gate three with Joao Moreira a factor. MR TIMELY comes under the ‘non-winner’ category but is always a horse to keep safe. He also had excuses not to finish closer last start and with blinkers back off today, he gives this a shake. CAPABLANCA will need every bit of the 3kg claim but has to be considered and on the minimum you may want to include MY SON with just 50kg.
1 CAPABLANCA *** In solid form and this looks easier than recent assignments. Goes close with 3kg claim a factor. 5.00
2 POWERFUL RULER ** Resuming for new trainer and up to this on his day but have to take on trust with market a good guide. 12
3 MR TIMELY *** Thereabouts last start and certainly in the mix here with blinkers off. 4.50
4 FINDERSKEEPERS *** Big run last start doing it tough – Moreira from gate three looks a winning combination. 2.50
5 DICTATOR ** Never won on the turf but has solid form on the surface so could sneak a place at odds. 20
6 ECLAIR MYSTIC ** Late nomination for the KrisFlyer puts him under notice and certainly appreciates first up run. 7.00
7 U GOT IT ** Might be outclassed but has pace and could run a cheeky race. 30
8 FAST BREAK * Hard to have in this company. 50
9 MY SON ** In form and can hold his own in this company with no weight – keep safe. 7.00
Selections; 6 SMART GENERAL – 4 SHAOLIN SOLDIER – 10 BABY FACE – 1 PEOPLE’S VICTORY
You could honestly do the form on this race seven or even eight times and come up with a different winner every time. In fact I originally had a few in front of SMART GENERAL before thinking how improved he was last start when blinkers went on and on that effort, have him on top again. He was a kranjiracing each-way special that day and placed at good enough odds to owe followers nothing and certainly worth another look on that effort. But plenty of others can win this from PEOPLE’S VICTORY at the top of the weights to the impressive BABY FACE who carries just 50.5kg coming off some very good form behind some very good horses. Throw in SHAOLIN SOLDIER who should grow a leg back on the turf with SICHUAN RULER, BENJI’S EMPIRE and TEEN ANGEL all some hope.
1 PEOPLE’S VICTORY *** Claim can’t hurt and looks ready to win for the people again. 3.50
2 FUKU KITARU ** Jockey suggested something amiss last start and always an each-way hope. 6.00
3 TEEN ANGEL *** Form starting to read badly but has always looked a better option on the turf so pay to keep safe switching back to this surface. 20
4 SHAOLIN SOLDIER *** Another Burridge runner who looks well placed back on the turf and a win would not surprise. 6.00
5 SICHUAN RULER *** Progressive type whose three wins have all been over this trip/surface – big show. 4.50
6 SMART GENERAL *** Showed last start why he is a better horse when blinkers on – follow. 12
7 BENJI’S EMPIRE *** Has enough pace to lead from the wide gate and a huge show if he gets a soft run out front. 12
8 RIO FORTUNE * Bad form will test blind followers of Joao Moreira. 40
9 MR IKHLAS ** Enough to like about Singapore debut to think he improves and in the exotic mix in what is a tougher field. 15
10 BABY FACE *** Backed up two good runs in very good company with a close up finish after doing it tough – can win this. 8.00
11 THE RUDE WARRIOR ** Dropping back in distance but blinkers added and drawn well so could surprise. 40
Selections; 2 THE COMEDIAN – 1 BETTER THAN EVER – 3 WON’T STOP – 6 AROWANA DOT COM
Great to see BETTER THAN EVER back after a scare clipping heels two weeks back but this does look a tough ask for the 16-time winner. The Champ has 59kg to carry and while he looked to be flying before being pulled up last start, giving a full 9kg to a few very nice types in THE COMEDIAN, WON’T STOP and last start winner AROWANA DOT COM makes winning very hard. THE COMEDIAN in particular, first up after a couple of good runs in Dubai, looks perfectly weighted on the minimum to carry on his excellent domestic form and win. He has drawn the fence which is handy in a small field and Stephen Baster should have every opportunity to run over the top of likely pace-setter, WON’T STOP, on the long run home. But WON’T STOP is well named and if they give him any leeway out front he might be hard to reel in on the E Course which does favour on-pace runners. But Baster and Moreira (BETTER THAN EVER) should know that and expect them to be handy (not too handy Joao!) enough when it matters. AROWANA DOT COM will have admirers after beating FLYING FULTON convincingly last start and the finish should be busy!
1 BETTER THAN EVER *** Looked read to pounce last start when he clipped heels and can win this although giving 9kg to all and sundry. 2.00
2 THE COMEDIAN *** Was in sparkling domestic form before solid but unsuccessful Dubai campaign – goes close here with 50kg. 3.50
3 WON’T STOP *** Freshened after unplaced Merlion run but form prior exceptional and in this a very long way. 7.00
4 KEEP AWAY * Solid as a rule but place at best this strong field. 40
5 BLACK ICE ** Backing up after fair effort at WFA conditions in the Lion City Cup and certainly worth watching. 30
6 AROWANA DOT COM *** Won too well similar handicap conditions last start not to be with a winning chance. 3.50
7 DRAGON WORLD * Honest but this is a tough assignment. 40
Selections; 3 SHUTTLE MAN – 8 DYNASTY KNIGHT – 4 WHITE COFFEE – 1 PEACEFUL WARRIOR
Take out the SHUTTLE MAN and this race would have been a cracker. Not that it won’t be with the unbeaten Japanese-bred gelding in the field, but the race does look his for the taking as he heads towards bigger and better things and a run in Group 1 Singapore Guineas on May 18. There is plenty of pace in this race so Joao Moreira will get a perfect sit behind the likes of DYNASTY KNIGHT and POPI POPI and all things being equal, should have too much class come the business end. You can throw a blanket over the field with some likely improvers and some of the usual suspects all likely to play a part. If a horse like DYNASTY KNIGHT (or POPI POPI for that matter) does get an easy time out front it could get interesting but not sure that will happen. SHUTTLE MAN or bust!
1 PEACEFUL WARRIOR ** Found one better last start but form very good and have to respect. 7.00
2 POPI POPI ** Only poor run of late was in the 3YO Sprint at Group level and will be in this for a very long time. 6.00
3 SHUTTLE MAN *** Freshened after great win over the mile to keep his unbeaten run going and no reason to think that stops today. 1.60
4 WHITE COFFEE ** Last run a lot better than the result and keeps a few honest here in what is a suitable race. 12
5 CHAMPAGNE NEEDED ** Improves for the two runs and the fact winkers are added – keep safe. 30
6 JOHN OF ARCH ** In terrific each-way form and have to respect. 20
7 PARK AVENUE ** Very much appreciates first run back and step up in distance and can figure in exotics. 30
8 DYNASTY KNIGHT ** Will try to lead and if any peace out front might be the one to run down late. 12
9 KNIGHT’S COMMAND ** Had support and excuses (debris in trachea) at Singapore debut so certainly worth another look with blinkers removed. 30
10 GOLDEN QUEST ** Shown enough at two Singapore starts to follow and will win a race soon. 20
11 RIMSKY * Needs to find extra. 100
Selections; 1 CITY LAD – 7 RAVOUX – 4 DYNAMIC DAN – 3 BRUDDER
Very tempted to go the easy option and Joao Moreira on RAVOUX from gate one but the 4YO does know how to get beat and happy to stick with CITY LAD for apprentice TH Koh. In fact the junior hoop probably should have won on him two starts back (when incidentally beaten by Moreira on Super Guru) and gets back on board after the 3YO gelding did it tough last start wide for T Rehaizat. Hopefully TH Koh gets the best out of him today and with any sort of run from an awkward gate, can win. RAVOUX should have every chance to knock in a well deserved win after drawing the ace and if within striking distance when it matter, will be a huge winning show. A couple of experienced types in DYNAMIC DAN and BRUDDER keep them all honest and worth keeping an eye on some of the light-weights with form.
1 CITY LAD *** Did it tough enough last start to think he can win this with softer run. 3.00
2 TOP SHELF ** Better than what he has shown last couple but have to take on trust. 20
3 BRUDDER *** Looks like he has been wanting a step up in distance and has a say late in this. 12
4 DYNAMIC DAN *** Another who did it tough wide in similar affair to give another chance and should figure somewhere late. 12
5 HOPKINS ** Solid and each-way all the way this type of race. 20
6 GALLANT FORCE ** Very much appreciates first up run for new stable and is the improver. 20
7 RAVOUX *** Left flat-footed when they sprinted last start and home well enough to think he can knock in a well deserved win today. 3.00
8 BEAT TO QUARTERS ** Showed a return to form last start and certainly worth a look in exotics. 12
9 DARING JOURNEY *** Up in Class after nice win but is more than competitive this company and pay to follow. 10
10 AFFIRMATION *** Continues to show plenty this type of race and have to respect with no weight. 12
11 ALPHA INFINITY * Disappointing last couple and this is tougher. No. 50
12 GYPSY ROSE LEE * Maiden and reassess in suitable company. 40