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Major King’s winning form is good form in the 3YO Classic

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Major King’s winning form is good form in the 3YO Classic

MAJOR KING winning the RESTRICTED MAIDEN Picture: Singapore Turf Club

It is an old adage - and a somewhat obvious one - but you just cannot go past winning form when analysing the field for the $150,000 Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) on Saturday.

Case in point is the likely short-priced favourite in Golden Monkey, who looks hardest to beat after winning the Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) in a canter.

Flashfast is the only horse coming into this race with back-to-back wins to his name and given his most recent victory over 1400m in Novice company, the Donna Logan-trained gelding will have admirers.

The other last-start winner in the field is Major King.

And while it is a very small sample size (one start), he has bragging rights as the only undefeated horse in the race after scoring on debut with strong support on June 2.

That Restricted Maiden race was run over 1200m on the Polytrack, but the New Zealand-bred gelding beat some handy types (barrier trial winner Star Victory ran second), so he is a horse with a future.

It is also worth noting that he is also unbeaten in three barrier trials in Singapore, and the latest was a very pleasing effort in heat no. 3 on June 30.

So could Major King cause a 'major' upset in the 3YO Classic?

For trainer Jason Ong, it is a 'free throw at the stumps' for his Per Incanto three-year-old.

"Look, he's only had the one run but he pulled up very well so we decided to nominate him," explained the Singaporean handler on Thursday.

"He trialled really well after that debut win too and while there are a lot of question marks – 1400m on turf and up against some very good horses – he deserves a run and will be better going forward.

"In saying that, he always works like a horse that will get 1400m, so if he gets a good trail off the speed, he should be competitive."

Ong purchased the horse after watching him trial in New Zealand.

"We liked what we saw at the trials and given Per Incantos' seem to go well in Singapore, we spoke to his trainer – Ben Foote – to see if he was for sale," he recalled.

"Lucky for us he was and we have been really happy with how he has gone since he arrived.

"He's still immature but he won on ability despite getting caught wide on debut, so he will keep improving."

With apprentice jockey Hakim Kamaruddin, Major King 's winning partner on debut committed to the Donna Logan-trained Deception in the 3YO Classic, Ong was more than happy to book apprentice jockey Shafrizal Saleh for the ride.

"He (Shafrizal) rides him a lot in work, gets on well with him and rode him at the recent trial, so he was the obvious choice for us," he said.

"And he won this race last year (on Starlight for trainer Michael Clements), so that's a good omen."

Ong will also saddle Song Of Nature, who will be ridden by jockey Koh Teck Huat in the feature race. While Major King and two of the main fancies in Golden Monkey and Silent Is Gold are going to try the 1400m trip for the first time, there is no problem with the trip at all for Song Of Nature.

"He's (Song Of Nature) a solid horse, so he can take all the work we gave him," said Ong.

"He won over 1600m, we have tried him over 2000m and he got too far back over the mile at his last start, but worked home okay.

"So we put blinkers on him to sharpen him up and he galloped well with them on Tuesday.

"He's also back in his own age group so he could go well."

With Major King drawn in gate five, Song Of Nature  in gate seven and a good early race tempo expected, Ong thinks both of his charges should get every chance.

"There is some speed in the race – (trainer) Tim's (Fitzsimmons) horse (Gold Ten Sixty-One) and Flashfast should go forward – so Major King should sit just off them from his good gate," mused Ong.

"With blinkers on, Song Of Nature can race where he is comfortable – handier than he has been previously I think – and we know he is fit and the trip is no problem, so hopefully he shows his best late."

Singapore Turf Club

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