Friday, 4 May 2012
: Sunday's $75,000 Kranji Stakes C over 1400m will determine whether Shuttle Man takes on better three-year-old company in the Group 1 $500,000 Singapore Guineas over 1600m on May 18.
| Shuttle Man|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The Steven Burridge-trained galloper has been under an injury cloud since he last raced in February but a barrier trial victory last Monday has the trainer convinced he's ready for a return to the racetrack.
And it's Sunday's race that will determine whether Shuttle Man
will proceed to the Singapore Guineas 12 days later.
After winning his first three starts Shuttle Man was being set for the second and third Legs of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge – the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic over 1400m on April 22 and the Guineas.
However a “hiccup” forced Burridge to miss the Classic – won by Super Easy
– on April 22.
Being bred to northern hemisphere time, Shuttle Man is six months younger than his southern hemisphere-bred counterparts and that immaturity showed up following his February 26 victory.
“We've had a few issues with his back which has had an effect on one of his hind legs,” said Burridge. “I thought we were over the problems a few weeks ago but then he went lame again.
“We've just taken our time with him and we got him to the trials on Monday and he's come through that in good order.
“So we'll run him in this race, see how he goes and if he comes through this alright then we'll push ahead to the Guineas.”
Burridge said Shuttle Man being six months younger than his more mature rivals was something that he had to consider when preparing the gelding for a crack at the Singapore Guineas.
“Whether he's mature or not to back up into the Guineas after this race I'm just not too sure yet,” said Burridge.
“He's got a few issues that need attention but he looks to have got over them for the time being.
“He's six months younger than the other horses which I think a lot of people forget and which doesn't help him in the long run either.
“If he doesn't make it to the Guineas it won't be the end of the world, but on his form to date he deserves a crack at the race.”
Shuttle Man was ridden by Burridge's wife Julie in the trial last Monday but Joao Moreira – who has won on the gelding at all three starts to date – will be back in the saddle on Sunday.
But should Shuttle Man make his way into the Singapore Guineas then Burridge will have to find a new rider.
“Joao's won on him at his only three starts but we'll have to find someone new in the Guineas,” said Burridge.
“Joao's got a booking for Super Easy
but I don't think it will be too hard to find a suitable jockey for him if he heads to the Guineas.”
Shuttle Man has certainly been an eyecatcher from the beginning of his career after scoring by seven-and-a-half lengths on debut over 1200m before taking on older horses in Class 4 grade and winning over 1400m at his next start on February 3.
He followed up with a narrow victory over the previously unbeaten filly Better Life
over 1600m on February 26 in a race that was eagerly anticipated and one that was going to set the scene for the upcoming Singapore Guineas.
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