Review of weekend's eye-catchers

Early February has certainly proven to be a busy period. We celebrated Chinese New Year here at the Singapore Turf Club, and with that, we were treated to some excellent racing indeed with the jewel in the New Year crown being the hotly-contested Fortune Bowl.

Review of weekend's eye-catchers

Early February has certainly proven to be a busy period. We celebrated Chinese New Year here at the Singapore Turf Club, and with that, we were treated to some excellent racing indeed with the jewel in the New Year crown being the hotly-contested Fortune Bowl.

A superb renewal of the race, it provided all and sundry with a titanic struggle between the eventual winner Blizzard, who in turn would supply Daniel Moor with a first group success here at Kranji and the gallant runner-up, Countofmontecristo who lost no admirers in defeat. If anything, he may have gained a few more.

There were however plenty of eye-catching performances over the four days of racing and I have picked a horse from each of the days that I feel are worth following looking ahead.

One of the early horses I flagged up in this column was Yulong Shengdao, who on Sunday February 3 ran a very creditable third, beaten only two lengths at a rewarding $28 for the place.

FRIDAY (01.02.19)


Race 4 on the first meeting of the month will more than likely be remembered as the race that the useful Siam MP made his debut in and managed to win rather nicely. Not taking any of the gloss off the performance - as he was mightily impressive - but it was a big strapping son of Mahisara that caught my eye running into fifth place at the finish.

The horse in question is LEGEND ROCKS, trained by Mok Zhan Lun and ridden by John Sundradas. This 547kg galloper was making his debut in what I believe will prove to be a decent form race going forward. Having looked a little on edge on the way to post and behind the gates, he would then show signs of distinct inexperience by missing the break once the stalls opened and racing keenly in the early to middle stages of the race and not really understanding what this racing game was all about.

He clearly has a good amount of ability and the reason he has been included in this week’s article is based on the way he knuckled down in the final furlong to run through the line strongly, with an impressive final sectional of 22.87 in a race in which they didn’t go overly hard. He looks the type to keep improving with racing throughout the course of 2019.

Advice: Continue to follow going forward as this debut run may well prove a very decent form race for future reference.

SUNDAY (03.02.19)


The idea of this weekly column is to hopefully unearth a few winners for some of the bigger prizes on offer during the year and last Sunday afternoon, I had a sneaky suspicion we saw the winner of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint run on April 5.

The horse, MY BIG BOSS. This Lee Freedman-trained three-year-old ran a lovely race back to 1200m on the first Sunday of the month under Daniel Moor in the race won by Copacabana. He was able to rattle off a slick closing 400m in 22.42.

Prior to this effort, he was last seen running 7th on Singapore Gold Cup day some 84 days beforehand over 1400m, which I went on record as saying he didn’t want, and I do stick by that opinion at this stage. This lovely-looking son of Smart Missile has untapped potential and is still not the finished article, given he managed to stay on for third in what must be considered a quality renewal of the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe. He had many winners in behind him that night.

MY BIG BOSS has never been the best starter in his seven starts to date and he once again forgot his trapping boots last Sunday. Starting a little sluggishly, he was soon to find stride and any onlooker had to be impressed by the way he finished off the race. He is growing up both mentally and physically and judged on what he has been able to show so far from limited runs, I like what I’ve seen and there is a nice prize to be won with this horse in 2019.

Advice: A talented 3-y-o who should be followed for the rest of the year. A solid long-term selection for the Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) on April 5.

WEDNESDAY (06.02.19)


The eye-catcher for the Chinese New Year meeting is at a lower level than what My Big Boss might be able to achieve in due course, but a certain Cliff Brown-trained mare didn’t get much luck from a wide draw and I feel can atone when back in grade next time out.

CRACKING TOTTIE is the mare in question from Wednesday afternoon and anyone who saw how much extra she had to cover both in the run and especially around the home turn had to be taken by the performance overall. Ben Thompson was drawn in the widest possible barrier onboard this daughter of So You Think and had very little choice but to take her back and ride for luck in this Class 4 contest. At no stage was he really able to find an advantageous spot in the run and as a result had to swing extremely wide on the home turn, sacrificing even more ground in the process.

CRACKING TOTTIE was running off a mark of 57 here and the handicapper has now taken the view to drop her a further two points on the back of this effort, which in the grand scheme of things, was not as bad as it looked over a trip slightly shorter than her optimum. She was well suited when winning her one and only race to date by a wonderfully tactical ride from the excellent Michael Rodd in a Kranji Stakes D and I can only imagine that is the grade we will see her competing in next and a return to Polytrack wouldn’t be a negative also.

Advice: She is now eligible for a Kranji Stakes D once again and is only three points higher than her only win off 52. She can win again in the right race on the back of this performance.

FRIDAY (08.02.19)


The opening race on this rather murky Friday night was a Kranji Stakes D which provided both Vlad Duric and Mohd Yusof with a winner in the shape of Smart Investment and an excellent training performance it was too, as it was his second start back after a break of some 959 days.

The horse for me to take out of the race is FIRST LIGHT for former champion trainer Mark Walker and on this occasion partnered by Nooresh Juglall for the first time on start number 17 in the Lion City. Sporting a visor for just the second time, the five-year-old was drawn in barrier nine and found himself worse than midfield in a race where they didn’t really hang around for the grade. Once turning for home, he was to respond kindly for the Mauritian jockey, running through the line well for third place.

Since winning an Initiation way back in August 2017, he has been largely disappointing off ratings in the high 50s/lower 60s and over a range of trips from 1200m up to 1800m. He has now worked down to an attractive-looking handicap mark of 47 and on the pick of his form, it would seem likely he can exploit that mark at some stage soon on the back of a more encouraging run.

Advice: Not one to follow off a cliff but should be able to win another race in a similar event on the back of this run and should Juglall ride again, I’d perceive that as a positive.

Singapore Turf Club

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