The action on Wednesday at Kranji Racecourse saw almost all of the international visitors get out for a gallop, with only the American trainee SI SAGE remain home a day after putting in speed work on Tuesday.
LUCKY NINE was first out for the second consecutive day, getting in a back track gallop at 4:52 A.M. Trainer Caspar Fownes noted that Lucky Nine will race without blinkers in defense of his KrisFlyer International Sprint (G1) crown.
Doug Watson’s LIMARIO was next out and the only runner to record any significant work on the grass course, going about 1,000 metres over the firm turf. We clocked him from the 800m pole, catching that run in 48.21 seconds, and going very easy. The official clockers at the course caught his final 600 metres in 34.1 seconds, which seems almost impossible given the way in which he was moving. While smooth and incredibly impressive, he just didn’t look like he was moving that fast. Regardless, it was a flashy move and well he is well-worth considering in the mix for Sunday’s big race.
BALMONT MAST was on the main Polytrack for a gallop and was definitely quirky this morning. The Ed Lynam trainee was galloping along the outside rail and looked quite unsettled, head askew almost 90 degrees to the right. When he passed the winning post, he moved to the mid-part of the track and was lashing out behind while galloping, a real handful. DAN EXCEL, out later with fellow John Moore trainee and Dubai Golden Shaheen winner STERLING CITY, was also displaying some quirks this morning. He propped and temporarily lost the partnership with his work rider when on the backstretch and near a blue tractor which was parked off the course.
As with anything relative to trackwork, it’s always worth looking back to see if this behavior is normal or out of the ordinary, and we were encouraged with a review of last year’s notes. From last year’s trackwork blogs, we found the following nuggets:
“BALMONT MAST put in an interesting piece of work and we aren’t quite sure what to make of it. While stretching for more ground, his head was wandering about and he seemed quite full of himself, almost playful in the rain. He practically bolted towards the outer rail after doing most of this gallop down the middle of the Polytrack.”
“The Hong Kong duo of DAN EXCEL and MILITARY ATTACK were back for a second day on Thursday, emerging from their barns and having to cross the turf course before getting onto the Polytrack. While DAN EXCEL balked significantly for the second consecutive day, his stable companion failed to repeat the task and walked on with no issue having learned his lesson.”
So are there any major concerns with either Balmont Mast or Dan Excel’s antics today – not when we recalled this being fairly normal for them.
After Military Attack seemed to go much smoother than Dan Excel on Tuesday, the same could be said for Sterling City who was more within himself than Dan Excel on Wednesday, regardless of Dan Excel’s general antics.
SMOKING SUN, who was considerably difficult to handle on Tuesday worked with no issues on Wednesday when galloping the back heath track, something he did with MULL OF KILLOUGH and SIDE GLANCE, who seemed to do two back and forth “laps” of the non-circuitous course, working up a good lather, but under a tight hold. MEDICEAN MAN, the 8-year-old, gave it another Polytrack whirl without incident.
Japanese runner TOKEI HALO had his first spin of Kranji’s Polytrack, looking no worse for the trip. Later in the morning, local KrisFlyer Sprint hopes CAPTAIN OBVIOUS, EL PADRINO (both horses who have won in the UAE, the latter under the name Ip Man), and well-regarded ZAC SPIRIT had solid work on the various tracks. Zac Spirit worked in company with a class 3 galloper, settling behind and then passing on the back heath track in 35.7 seconds for a final 600 under a complete hammerlock.
Some rain came to Kranji after trackwork and should help take some of the sting out of the turf, generally viewed to be in the best condition seen in some time, with some fine cover.
Trackwork on Thursday will be followed by the barrier draw at midday.