The courses at Kranji were a bit busier on Wednesday morning when all ten international shippers made an appearance during the designated training hour beginning at 5:00 A.M. Rain began falling in Singapore around 3:30 A.M. and lightning in the distance provided for some early-morning fireworks. There is no denying the shock of Rocket Man’s defection from the KrisFlyer Sprint, and really pushes both races into status as being wide open.
For the second day in a row, Hong Kong-based ZAIDAN got on the gallop and made another easy appearance without much fanfare. CHINCHON and INVINCIBLE ASH, going in separate races, came out together, but quickly separated on the grass course, with Chinchon turning in some fast work over the turf course and appeared no worse for it. Chinchon was recorded covering 600 metres in 36.50 and came home the last 200 metres in 12 seconds flat.
THUMBS UP, second in the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1) in Hong Kong, galloped about 1,200 metres, with particular speed in the last 600 of the trip. The clockers at Kranji caught him over that 600 in 37.10 seconds and the final 200 in a blazing 11.10 seconds.
ZAZOU, fifth in the Dubai World Cup, clearly a key race for form in the SAI Cup, galloped a lap on the Polytrack, and was shortly followed by KRYPTON FACTOR out for a light gallop over about 1,800 metres, a day after swinging around on the grass course. CITY STYLE, third in the Dubai Duty Free, continues to impress us most with his appearance, cantering an easy lap on Polytrack before putting in a stronger, but still pressure-less lap.
There is little doubt that CALIFORNIA MEMORY is not overly impressive in his morning appearance, but he seems simply playful when asked to do a circuit without much pressure. That said, he got over the Polytrack with ease again.
We personally didn’t see DREAM PEACE on course, but David Raphael did catch the filly, and his full annotated notes on today’s trackwork are HERE. SECRET ASSET, eighth in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1), worked on the training course, which has a slight incline, behind the main grass course at Kranji and appeared in fine fettle.
SPEED BABY, winless since last June in the Patron’s Bowl (G1) at Kranji, defeating Better Than Ever, got over the Polytrack with a gallop that got more spirited as it went on, starting on the outside of the course and working in. Under a hold, the gelding by Fastnet Rock was clocked the final 600 metres 39.4, and home through the last 200 metres in 11.9. The mare New Rose Wood got over the Polytrack in 37.6 for her 600-metre work and was home in 12.1.
EL DORADO and WAIKATO both worked in tandem over the grass course without much fanfare, but both of these old-school borderline pensioners got on well, with El Dorado possibly going just a bit better on the outside of his workmate.
Thursday and Friday, we will expect to see some stronger work from the shippers, and think that a few blowouts are likely in order. Back in 2010, the last time we came to the Singapore International Racing Festival, Dubai Duty Free winner Al Shemali had a very strong gallop on the grass in advance of his solid third placing, just behind Lizard’s Desire and Gloria De Campeao.
Craig Evans, senior commentator for the Singapore Turf Club, joked as the media arrived on Wednesday, discussing the projected weather for the day. ”Afternoon rain likely the forecast, you don’t need to see the weather report to know what it will be,” said Evans, joking that the forecast is almost always the same. Regardless, Evans noted that “it will be wet going” in some shape or form, the question is how heavy.