Sunday, 19 August 2012
: The feature G3 sprint today at the polytrack Kranji meeting is a proven looking glass towards G1 glory.
The tenth race on the card is the G3 S$200K Woodlands Handicap over 1200m and several names in the nine horse field look potential G1 sprinters if not later this year then certainly next.
The two winners of this race since its inception have been from the same stable namely Rocket Man (2010) and Ato (2011) and both those Pat Shaw trained sprinters have won at G1 since.
Rocket Man has in fact won seven times at G1 and is the benchmark for sprinting greatness in Singapore while Ato won the G1 Krisflyer in May and beat a runner today in Mr Big.
Yin Xin last start beat Mr Big but only after it got softened up by Coup Align across the top to the home turn.
The battle between Mr Big and Yin Xin is currently one all and the key fact is the weight, with whatever carrying more ending up behind the other.
Today we see Mr Big get half a kilo from Yin Xin and it could well be enough to get the upper hand with both having drawn well.
Mr Big has placed twice already at G1 and won at G2 and G3 plus he has never failed to pay a dividend in fifteen starts with eight wins and seven placings and is one of many young guns in the Michael Freedman stable.
Bettors always get a great sight and run for their money with ‘Big’ at Kranji on the poly or turf and as a result they flock to back him heavily late.
Stephen Baster has built up a good rapport and record with Mr Big and it is hard to see him getting off the money-spinner anytime soon.
Yin Xin is a year older than Mr Big and has only a G3 placing in the record and a failure at G1 in the Krisflyer.
However that feature sprint is on turf and Yin Xin is a poly performer only with all his seven wins coming on the all weather.
He is a fast horse that has mostly led in his races but proved last start can take a sit behind then get revved up turning for home to put away his rivals in a flash.
Moreira is unbeaten in two rides atop Yin Xin and being drawn inside Mr Big will once again have more options early on as the inevitable drag race for tactical positioning takes place.
Another younger runner that has G1 potential as a four-year-old is Speedy Cat that keeps running super races and in nine starts has never finished further back than second with five wins and four runners up positions.
It can mix distances from an 1100m dash to a mile and still gives the whole way to the wire so his versatility and tactical speed will continue to stand him in good stead in Singapore.
Ivaldo Santana picks up the ride and from the inside stall he has all the tactical cards to play plus at 50kg the gelding will not know himself since 52.5kg is the lightest he has ever had to carry.
His regular rider John Powell (eight times atop) is suspended at the moment and last start jockey Joao Moreira could not make the 50kg and is staying with the last start winner for him at 53kg in Yin Xin.
Won’t Stop resuming is a dangerous leader or most likely here an on pacer at best having drawn six in a field that has many early burners.
He has won five of his total of seven wins on the poly and trailed okay earlier this month for an apprentice.
A different apprentice will ride him today being able to make the 50kg and that is not a plus in a G3 event but such is needed to keep every kilo from your opposition.
Won’t Stop has a G3 placing (behind Super Easy) in his record but is yet to pay a dividend fresh up and only starts winning second and third up so it is likely he will pay overs in a field as decent as this.
Better Be The One is proven at the top level and gives the Michael Freedman stable a potent pair in the race.
The now six-year-old gelding has placed second at G1 twice (Lion City Cup and behind Rocket Man each time) plus has placed at G2 once (third in 2011 Al Quoz at Dubai).
He has also won at G3 twice and Listed level once.
The out and out sprinter goes super fresh up and in Singapore alone has won six and placed six times from sixteen starts.
When you factor in his dozen starts in Australia he won five more times and placed once.
His poly record is an impressive five starts for three wins and two placings.
He has not raced since having a real gutbuster in the G1 Krisflyer over May and Freedman intimated the gelding would be a stay at home sprinter and that everything was a bonus from now on.
Carrying the 57.5kg is not an issue being such a big horse so it comes down to what weight he can give away to the younger guns such as stablemate Mr Big or the gifted Speedy Cat or the fleet of foot Yin Xin.
Never doubt those that have done it before over those aspiring too as form is temporary and class permanent.
Rafaga has beaten Mr Big on the poly over 1200m before and got 1.5kg from him that day so here with a 2.5kg pull so you need to include him in the multiples in case they go silly up front.
He has also interestingly beaten Yin Xin and although on the turf did it fresh up at the same impost of 58kg in a Graduation event.
With placings at G3 behind Super Easy and Gingerbread Man you know this galloper has the ability to deliver at the level he faces today.
He may pay overs here having drawn out at nine for a runner that is yet to miss paying a dividend on the poly plus Ismail Saifudin riding is not a negative at all.
Saifudin has ridden the gelding five times for a win and four placings so he has a reputation to protect too in never having missed the top three.
This is as usual a superbly strong Group sprint race in Singapore and the power on display today would provide enough annual electricity for a small village.
Mr Big, Yin Xin and Speedy Cat look the trio drawn to make it tough for the rest and all of them have won around half or better of their starts so they know what the post is for on raceday/night.
I cannot leave Better Be The One out because if the younger ones go mad to the home turn then the older and wiser sprinter will make them all look silly at the finish.
Rafaga with a G2 placing to Gingerbread Man and G3 placings behind Flying Fulton and Super Easy is the one for overs on the minimum of 50kg.
Enjoy this portent of powerful performance to come.