Churchill has improved
Le Grange-trained debut runner-up opens up nicely to take the third trial
Churchill, who created a favourable impression when second on debut, has made marked improvement, judging by his trial victory at Kranji yesterday.
Ridden by champion jockey Vlad Duric, the Ricardo Le Grange-trained four-year-old Australian-bred sat fourth behind the pacemaker Minister in the third of six trials. He was striding out boldly.
Although he travelled a bit wide and straightened wide, he made good progress and closed in on the leader.
Churchill took the lead in the final 100m and went on to win with plenty in hand.
He clocked 1 min 01.08sec, the fastest of six trials yesterday morning.
At his debut on Feb9, Churchill sat handily and hit the front 300m out in a Class 4 race over 1,200m on turf.
But he failed to fend off the fast-finishing Absolvido, who clocked 1min 10.89sec.
He has obviously improved by leaps and bounds on the way he won his trial yesterday.
Churchill is raced by the Singapore Turf Club's former racecaller Steve Levar's Loyalty Racing Stable, which also owns Group performer King Louis.
Levar's newcomer Sweet Angeline also trialled well.
Also trained by Le Grange and ridden by Duric, the three-year-old Australian-bred filly lunged at the post but just failed to catch stablemate California by a short head in Trial 5.
Watch Sweet Angeline first-up.
The filly last raced as Chia in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes at Randwick during the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The horse is renamed after an Elvis Presley song and also after Levar's youngest daughter, Angeline.
Besides Churchill and California, Le Grange also took Trial 4 with Rocket Star, who beat stablemate Water Rocket.
Yesterday's Kranji barrier trial results
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Win Win (B Woodworth)
2 Evil Speedo (V Duric)
3 Hooga Net (CC Wong)
4 Lion Spirit (R Maia)
5 Scooby Doo (M Zaki)
Margins and time: 1½, 3, ¾ 1¼ (1min 01.16sec)
1 Leggenda (Duric)
2 Victory Joy (M Lerner)
3 Communication (Zaki)
4 Golden Years (A Collett)
5 Uluru (T Rehaizat)
Margins and time :Nk, 2¼, 16¼, ½ (1:02.75)
1 Churchill (Duric) *
2 Minister (S Noh) *
3 Sierra Conqueror (CS Chin)
4 Toosbies (R Munger)
5 Star Of Jupiter (M Kellady)
6 Salvador (WH Kok)
7 Lim's Zoom (D Beasley)
Margins and time: 1, 1, ½, 1, 4, 6¼ (1:01.08)
1 Rocket Star (Duric) *
2 Water Rocket (R Munger) *
3 Meryl (Collett) *
4 King Zoustar (P Moloney)
5 Our Pinnacle (J Powell)
6 Count Me In (Woodworth)
Margins and time: Hd, 1, ½, 1, 14¼ (1:01.48)
1 California (Munger) *
2 Sweet Angeline (Duric) *
3 Gold Faith (Kok)
4 Sun Dream (Noh)
5 Auspicious Day (Collett)
6 Achieved More (Woodworth)
7 Smiling Proud (M Nizar)
Margins and time: Shd, 1¾, ½, 1¼, 8, 3¾ (1:01.36)
1 Miss Michelle (N Zyrul) *
2 Amazing Man (F Yusoff)
3 Diamond Mine (Powell)
4 Gravel Road (Moloney)
6 My Sweetheart
Margins and time: 1½, 6, shd, shd, 2¾, ½ (1:01.78)