Cheval Blanc in good order
Ima also impresses on training track, clocks 40.5sec over 600m
If you are the adventurous sort, willing to risk a dollar for a nice return, there are two horses who fit the bill in the last race on Saturday.
They are Cheval Blanc and Ima. Both are competent racehorses and both have already opened their Kranji accounts.
However, their wins there have been over distances much longer than the 1,400m they will soon have to tackle.
Cheval Blanc won over the 1,800m last time while Ima’s only win was over the 2,000m.
The 1,400m does look too short and sharp but there is one thing going for them. Both will carry loads of conditioning into the race.
On a morning when gallops involving Saturday’s runners were few and far between, both Cheval Blanc and Ima were the exceptions to the rule.
Cheval Blanc had jockey Marc Lerner doing the navigating when he covered the 600m in 40.4sec.
As for Ima, apprentice jockey Kok Wei Hoong was entrusted with steering duties and he guided the five-year-old through the 600m in 40.5sec.
From trainer Stephen Gray’s yard, Cheval Blanc arrived with a strong reputation. He had eight starts in Ireland and was a winner in a race over 1,408m.
He arrived at Kranji in August 2018 but began his racing only two years later.
But he was not idle. Gray, his conditioner since Day One, sent him to seven trials before that first race in mid-August 2020. He finished down the course over the 1,400m.
He began paying for his keep when he finished second in his next start, narrowly beaten by Ironchamp over the mile.
He would finish runner-up on two other occasions last year before posting his first win on Nov 20.
That was over the 1,800m on the Polytrack. He carried stable confidence and went off as the $15 top pick.
From the Northern Hemisphere, he turned seven on Jan 1 and his race on Saturday will be his 11th in Singapore.
As for Ima, he is prepared for the races by Steven Burridge and he will be having his 12th race start on Saturday.
A five-year-old, Ima can sprint and stay. He was second over 1,200m on two occasions last season and his only win came in July when he outstayed his rivals over the 2,000m.
Ima has not raced since September. But, in the four months that he has been away from the races, he has had four trials.
While the 1,400m might also seem too daunting, he will be presented in the race looking as right and ready as a racehorse can be.
For those of you wanting to another glimpse of Katak, well, that champion from South Africa will see action in Race 10 – the $85,000 affair over the 1,400m.
The distance is not his cup of tea. But, with his pedigree, you never can tell.
Well, Katak was another one who was out on the track yesterday but he was not there to make time.
Instead, he cantered two rounds. Word from trackside was that he looked real good.
That has to be believed. After all, Katak has been turning in good performances in his last two races.
He finished second to Hard Too Think in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in October and he ran a huge race when fourth to Lim’s Lightning in the Singapore Gold Cup.
On his day, Katak can be anything he wants to be. Even a sprinter.
So, do not discount him on Saturday. Give him the respect and he might give you a payday.