Debut winner Paletas shows good headway
Clements' 3YO is one to watch in the new season
Unlike Saturday with a host of fast gallops, only a handful of horses went against the clock at Kranji yesterday morning.
But there were some nice lookers among the nine horses that galloped in preparation for the 2020 Singapore racing season.
Trainer Michael Clements, runner-up to Mark Walker in this year's Singapore trainers' championship, again provided the sparks when all three of his charges impressed clockers.
Top Knight, who is certain of the Champion Three-Year-Old award after winning the last two of the challenge series, was timed at 37.9sec for 600m.
Last-start runner-up Easy South East had it easy in 40.6 but looked much improved.
Clements' other star performer, Paletas, has picked up plenty from his debut victory with champion jockey Vlad Duric astride on Dec 8, the final day of the season.
Only three years old, the smart New Zealand-bred should have a fun time next year.
After all, the bay gelding was given a glowing report for his gutsy last-stride short-head success over Healthy Star in the Restricted Maiden event over the Polytrack 1,000m.
Duric said the trial winner was still green and would make a good horse with more racing.
He told Clements and the owners of Appointed Whale Stable, which races Paletas, that the horse would develop into a nice horse once he understands what racing is all about in time.
"He's got so much upside to him, so he just won on raw ability," said Duric.
"It wasn't pretty at the start, he put his head down in the barrier when they opened. He missed it a length and, when the leaders crossed in, he sort of panicked a bit.
"So, you know, it's all credit to the horse. He's got nice ability and yeah, I really, really like him going forward."
Although Paletas won his trial convincingly by 41/2 lengths, Duric reckoned it was a totally different thing in a race.
"He trialled with no pressure, so it's a different ballgame coming here and having a little bit of pressure on raceday," he said.
"That sort of tested him a bit in the early and middle stages, but his class shone through at the finish.
"Like I've said, once he figures out - which he will very quickly - and get that greenness out of him, he'll be a pretty smart horse, I think."