Friday, 1 June 2012
: Lightly-raced four-year-old Moonlite Shower makes his return from knee surgery when he lines-up in the $75,000 Kranji Stakes C over 1100m on Sunday.
| Moonlite Shower|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The Hidden Dragon
gelding hasn't raced since finishing a brave second to Super Easy
– beaten a length-and-a-half – in Class 2 company last September.
That brave second placing came on top of two Class 3 victories over 1000m on his preferred Polytrack surface, the same surface he races on this Sunday, in June and July respectively.
Trainer Shane Baertschiger – who took over the training of the gelding when his father Don retired earlier in the year – said Moonlite Shower
had bone chips removed from the knees of both forelegs following his second placing behind Super Easy.
Baertschiger has given Moonlite Shower a long and steady build-up for his return to racing and despite the wide draw – barrier 12 in the 14 horse field – said he was expecting a forward showing from the gelding.
Moonlite Shower has had two barrier trials in preparation for his return, including a win in a 1000m heat on May 24.
“We had to turn him out after his last start,” said Baertschiger. “He required surgery to both knees to remove bone chips.
“He had three months on the sidelines getting over that and he's been back in work now I guess around four months.
“We didn't push him too hard too early on, just a nice steady build-up.
“He's had the two trials back. He just had a nice quiet one at his first trial then the second one he led throughout and did it well.”
Baertschiger's apprentice Jacky Low – who has ridden the gelding in his two trials this campaign – will have the mount on Sunday.
Low has ridden Moonlite Shower twice previously in races. He was aboard the gelding when third in a Class 4 Stakes over 1100m back in November 2010 before scoring at his only other ride on the gelding in a Class 4 over 1100m on March 4 in which he defeated Kallisan
“He's got plenty of weight but the 2kg off for Jacky certainly helps a lot,” said Baertschiger.
“He's drawn a tricky barrier but hopefully he'll be able to get across. He's usually pretty good out of the gates and he's got good early pace.
“Jacky should be able to sum it up after the start but he's in good order and that's all I can ask for at this stage.”
Baertschiger said he had no ambitious plans for Moonlite Shower but said he was likely to keep the gelding on the Polytrack in the foreseeable future.
“After having knee chips it can be just one race at a time with them,” said Baertschiger.
“He hasn't given us any problems since he came back into work, but we'll see how he comes out of this race and just take it from there.”
Baertschiger was certainly dealt no favours with the barrier draw for the meeting which includes the $300,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup over 1400m.
Looking for his first feature race success, Baertschiger has Bahen
engaged in the race but he has come up with the extreme outside barrier in the 18 horse field.
The Stewards' Cup kicks off the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge with the $500,000 Group 1 Patron's Bowl over 1600m on June 24 and the $1.15 million Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby over 2000m on July 15 the other two legs.
Baertschiger said the Stewards' Cup would determine the direction he takes with Bahen following the race.
“It's a shocking draw so we'll just have to ride him quietly,” said Baertschiger. “We certainly won't be worrying if he misses the start.
“The long course will help him and hopefully he'll be running on.
“It should give me a guide as to whether he'll run further and if it does we'll then press on to the second leg or otherwise we'll freshen him up and have a look at something else.”
After winning his first two starts in Singapore after doing his early racing back in Australia, Bahen was a last start 4.5 length fourth behind Cash Dot Com
in a 1200m Kranji Stakes C on May 11, a run Baertschiger is prepared to dismiss.
"On face value it was probably a bit disappointing,” said Baertschiger. “But really the run was much better than it looked.
“He was the only one to make ground in the straight in that race and one of the few to make any ground on the night where the track favoured front runners.
“Obviously this race is also a fair bit tougher, but hopefully he runs well and we can work it out from there.”