Sunday provides two chances for Hollywoodbets Punters’ Challenge players with the Kranji and Hollywoodbets Scottsville racemeetings presenting opportunities to win big.
The Kranji card gets underway at 06h00, with the Hollywoodbets Scottsville programme starting at 12h45.
The free-to-play competition closes five minutes before the off of the first race.
Trainer Richard Lim reckoned that General Command, who has won all four of his races on the Polytrack thus far, will be in the mix back on his favourite surface in the SG$85,000 Class 2 race over 1100m on Sunday.
A one-timer winner on the grass at Caulfield in April 2021, the five-year-old son by Shalaa has run twice on the turf in seven starts in Singapore without success, but he lost no marks with a solid third behind Mr Malek in Class 1 company over 1200m on July 8 when under the tutelage of previous handler Jason Lim.
Yet, his recent win on June 3 was not only on the all-weather surface, but also over the same trip and Class as the upcoming race on Sunday.
The Lordship Stable-owned gelding won impressively by two-and-three-quarter lengths over I Am Sacred then. This time, he will only carry half-a-kilo more at the handicaps at 54.5kgs, so Lim is confident General Command can show his best at his first outing for the stable.
“He worked well and I expect a good run from him,” said the ex-jockey-turned-trainer on Tuesday.
“I haven’t had him in the stable for long and don’t understand him fully yet, but I’m really happy with how he has handled the work so far.
“He gave me the impression that he has maintained his form. Obviously, his wins have all been on the Polytrack, so that gives me confidence too.
“He has shown that he can win in Class 2 with a similar weight and (jockey) (Manoel) Nunes knew him better than anyone esle.
“His trial the other day (finished second to Illustrious in trial no 2 on August 3) was very good. He pulled up well from the trial – ate everything back at the stables – so it’s all systems go.”
Remarkably, Lim has nominated 18 runners for Sunday’s meeting and while he awaits barriers and final fields on Wednesday before assessing their chances fully, he suggested that three of them looked well-placed.
They are Thunder Legend in the SG$50,000 Class 4 Division 1 race over 1200m, Southern Master in the SG$30,000 Class 5 Division 1 race over 1200m and Tigarous in the SG$30,000 Class 5 race over 1600m.
“It looks to be a tough day of racing,” said the Ipoh-born Singaporean trainer.
“I think Thunder Legend (x Night Of Thunder) has found the right race and he will appreciate having (apprentice jockey) Ibrahim (Mamat) on his back.
“With his three-kilo claim, 52.5kgs looks to be a good weight and I think we can be competitive.
“We thought Southern Master (x Exceed And Excel) was very disappointing last start (finished fifth in a Class 5 race over 1200m on July 30), as we thought he was close to winning.
“But he was sound back at the stables and we couldn’t find anything amiss, so hopefully he just wasn’t at his best that day. Nunes stays on and he should run well.”
The interesting runner on paper was Tigarous, who looked hopeless on recent race form but came under notice after a nice trial.
“Tigarous (x Dragon Pulse) is the improver,” continued Lim.
“His recent race form has been disappointing but he trialled well for (jockey) Bruno (Queiroz) the other day (finished second to Hasten in trial no 3 on August 1).
“He worked well in the week and I think he will run well for Bruno.”
Lim took over 32 horses from ex-Kranji trainer Jason in mid-July, with Super Salute, arguably the best of the bunch, looking at a start in the $300,000 Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) – the third and final Leg of the STC Super Sprint Series – on August 27.
“It took me a few weeks to get my first winner (King’s Gambit in a Class 5 race on August 6) since Jason’s horses came over,” he said.
“But the stable is going well. I had to make adjustments and get to know the horses but it’s coming together.
“I only had Super Salute (x I Am Invincible) for a week or so before the (Group 1) (Singapore) Derby (where he ran third to Golden Monkey on July 23), so I didn’t know him at all.
“But he pulled up very well from that run. So while he drops back in trip and the race (Lion City Cup) will be strong, we have to run him.
“We will see how he comes through that race but the feature races later in the year are pencilled in.”