Class 4 sprint looks a cracker
With good trackwork form, Born To Win and Mariana Trench toss hat into the ring
It has been slotted in as the eighth event of 12 races coming up on Monday, the second day of the Lunar New Year.
It is not even the main race. That honour goes to the Kranji Stakes “A” contest which is Race 11.
But that Class 4 sprint over the 1,400m coming up at 4pm is shaping up to be a three-way cracker.
It was after Tuesday’s trackwork that you were pointed in the direction of Melody Fair.
Well, hold that thought. Melody Fair is still right up there but from what unfolded on the training track on Wednesday morning, you might want to add two more to the boil.
They are Born To Win and Mariana Trench.
Both worked up a storm and, together with Melody Fair, they loom as a terrific trio, capable of getting racegoers off their seats when the going gets serious.
In his work, Born To Win was not asked to do more than was necessary and he went on to clock 42.1sec for the 600m.
As for Mariana Trench, he ran as if in contempt of the clock, returning 37.1sec for the same trip.
Already a seven-year-old, the Tim Fitzsimmons-trained Born To Win appears to have suddenly found his second wind.
He closed the 2022 season really well and his scorecard for his last three runs reads 2-2-2.
In September, he ran second to Istataba, beaten by under a length after being held up for a run in the straight.
A month later, and again over the mile, Born To Win came within a head of levelling it up with Prodigal.
And at his last start on Nov 19, he came up against an absolute talent in Street Of Dreams, and we know the rest.
Ridden by visiting hoop Jamie Kah, he went down by 3½ lengths.
But he was not disgraced. If anything, it boosted his stock and garnered him new fans.
They will be in his corner on Monday when he looks to make it a seventh Kranji win.
He will need all the support he can get because Mariana Trench is no softie.
Still a youngster with just nine starts under his girth, the four-year-old missed out on making it two from nine when, at his last start, he lost out to Ima and Aftermath in a blanket finish.
That was over the 1,200m on Jan 7 and, on the day, Mariana Trench had to plot a course from near last to finish in the money.
Mariana Trench is better than that.
It was in July that he began paying for his keep at trainer Michael Clements’ yard, beating Street Of Dreams – no less – in a race over the mile.
A handsome chestnut who races in the colours of the Tivic Stable, Mariana Trench could have a grand 2023 season.
But come Monday, and with the race over the shorter 1,400m, he will have to get his motor running sooner than later.
Anyhow, in the shape he is in, he should make a race of it.
If there was one who really burnt up the training track on Wednesday, it had to be Class 5 campaigner Cizen Lucky.
With Benny Woodworth on the reins, the Jerome Tan-trained galloper clocked 34.7sec for the 600m.
Yes, he is in that kind of form and it should serve him well when he takes on Class 5 rivals over the 1,200m on grass.
Cizen Lucky was a winner under similar conditions three starts back in October and, last time out, he ran third to Den Of Thieves.
A wager on him in the opening event on Monday could get the Year Of The Rabbit off to a Lucky start.