Clements’ Kassab and Dixit Dominus impress at yesterday’s trials
Yesterday morning’s trials at Kranji kicked off quietly with two slow-winning heats over the Polytrack 1,000m.
The Donna Logan-trained Gamely ambled along to take the opener in 1min 02.17sec.
This was followed by the Alwin Tan-trained City Gate’s victory in 1:03.25 with jockey Mark Ewe up.
Both winners led all the way.
Gamely had High Limit on his inside for most of the way before he kicked ahead to beat trainer Michael Clements’ newcomer Lucky Charm (Vlad Duric).
The momentum then picked up with Clements’ Kassab and Dixit Dominus providing some excitement by winning the last two trials impressively in quicker times.
Ridden by apprentice jockey Ibrahim Mamat, Kassab broke cleanly to lead from Mr Pacino.
He was about two lengths in front at the 600m mark from Mr Pacino. Another couple of lengths away came The Wild Bunch and Tax Free.
Kassab led into the straight but Mr Pacino, under jockey Simon Kok, had reduced the lead to about a length.
It was all about the two horses in the straight, with Kassab holding on resolutely to win by half a length in 1:00.07. Both horses were nudged slightly.
A sparingly raced sort, Kassab has been a model of consistency with two wins, two seconds and two thirds from six starts.
His last-start second on May 21 to Stenmark was full of merit. He lost by only 3/4 lengths, clocking a smart 1:10.50.
On yesterday’s hit-out, the five-year-old chestnut English-bred gelding is a “must-follow” in his next assignment.
Watch out for the Steven Burridge-trained Mr Pacino, too.
The four-year-old Australian-bred, who was spelled after his unplaced debut on March 26, has improved. He looked very well.
The final trial ended in a three-way finish, with Duric urging Clements’ Dixit Dominus to pip the David Kok-trained leader Star Empire (Bernardo Pinheiro) by a short head in 1:00.89.
Clements’ Harry Dream (Ibrahim) caught the eye by coming from behind to split the pair, just a nose away.
Dixit Dominus has shown some potential with two placings from six starts. He ran into all sorts of trouble in his last start over 1,600m on May 28, prompting Clements to give him a break.
The spell has certainly done the four-year-old a world of good. Watch for further improvement.
Yesterday’s Kranji barrier trial results:
1 Gamely 2 Lucky Charm (V. Duric)
3 High Limit (M. Akmazani)
4 Per Incrown (T.H. Koh)
5 Lim’s Pride (D. Beasley)
Margins and time: 1/2, 1, 13/4, hd (1:02.17)
1 City Gate (M. Ewe) 2 Congaree
3 First Bowl (Beasley) 4 Diamond Beauty (Koh) 5 Ealami (Duric)
6 Free Fallin’ (M. Kellady)
Margins and time: 1/2, 1/2, 4, 11/4, 1 (1:03.25)
1 Kassab (M. Ibrahim)
2 Mr Pacino (W.H. Kok) 3 Free And Happy (C.C. Wong) 4 Tax Free (T. Rehaizat) 5 Implement (B. Pinheiro) 6 Real Efecto (Duric)
7 Amore Amore (Beasley)
8 The Wild Bunch (Koh)
Margins and time: 1/2, 23/4, hd, 21/2, hd, 11/4, 23/4 (1:00.07)
1 Dixit Dominus (Duric) 2 Star Empire (Pinheiro) 3 Harry Dream (Ibrahim) 4 Beyond Sacred (Wong) 5 Opunake (Koh) 6 Lim’s Denali (Beasley) 7 Braced
Margins and time: Shd, ns, 3/4, 11/2, 1/2, 83/4 (1:00.89)