Charger can take on the big boys
Four-year-old goes great guns on the training track
This is new territory for Charger. For the first time in his two years of racing at Kranji, his rating's in the 70s - 71, to be exact.
And for the first time in a career which has seen him bank in more than $300,000 in prizemoney, he's up there with the big boys in Class 2.
But he's not there by chance or by the luck of the draw.
He's up there in good company because he has proven to be, well, good.
It was barely seven weeks ago when he won his last race, beating Richbourg by 1/2 length over the 1,200m on grass.
And, at his last start, he lost no marks when second to Biraz in a photo finish. That race was over the 1,200m and it was run on the alternate surface. Apprentice A Syahir did the steering.
Well, Charger showed up on the training track yesterday morning and, by all counts, he looked good to go, clocking a swift 36.6sec for the 600m.
With four wins and five runner-up spots to his credit, Charger has proven to be a good horse to have in the stable and trainer John O'Hara must be mighty happy with him.
Owned by the Toast Trusts And J Ho Stable, the son of Dick Turpin does seem to prefer the turf but he's won and done pretty well when not racing over the Poly.
Like in August last year. Ridden by Alysha Collett, he lost out by just 1/2 length to Dutrow was was rated 11 points higher in a 1,200m sprint.
And Charger is not done yet. He's just four years old, he's from a good yard and there's a load of racing left in him.
So, can he on Sunday afternoon, muscle his way into the big league and give his more accomplished rivals a run for their money?
I don't see why not. He has proven in the past that he's a versatile sort, able to race up with the pace or from a stalking position.
So, can he pass that first test in Class 2? It's a tough ask but O'Hara will make sure he's up and ready for the assignment and, rest assured, the trainer will have him presented on the track carrying the hard eye of a contender.
From the same race, Eagle Eye also impressed on the training track. He covered the 600m in 37.2sec and he must be up for consideration when you're planning your betting strategy later in the week.
Trained by Michael Clements, whose barn has been churning out winners like an up and running assembly line, Eagle Eye was distinctly unlucky at his last start on March 24 when beaten by a nostril over 1,200m on the Poly.
Ridden by the champ, Vlad Duric, Eagle Eye was held up for a run from the 400m until the 200m when chasing down Miss Dusty in the stretch.
Duric fired in an objection, citing interference. It was overruled. It would have been Eagle Eye's second win in nine starts.
The good news is, he is retaining that form and, with just a featherweight of 51kg to carry, he will be right up there when the going gets serious.
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