Don’t rush to sign off Sincerely
Clements' sole Colonial Chief contender one of four gallops yesterday morning
He is near the bottom of the pack as far as rating numbers go. Right now it is 86 to topweight Pennywise and 76 to Sincerely.
But do not be swayed. Stranger things have happened in feature races and, when you add in the training factor, Kranji regulars know that it is suicidal to leave out a Michael Clements-trained horse when it comes to big races.
Horses from his yard are always in the mix and his record speaks for itself.
Just recently, Big Hearted - a horse trained by Clements - lifted the coveted Singapore Gold Cup. And who can forget how Clements' star, Top Knight, captured the Singapore Derby in September.
Okay, so you say, the Colonial Chief Stakes is not the Derby or the Gold Cup. It is a modest $150,000 race run over the mile on the Polytrack. But Clements' not choosy. He has taken the "smaller" ones, too.
Remember Siam Blue Vanda's victory in the Stewards' Cup on March 20, just before we went into lockdown?
So, what is stopping Sincerely from lifting the Colonial Chief Stakes? Nothing really.
He is Clements' only entry in Saturday's feature in Race 9.
In preparation for the occasion, he was one of a handful who turned up for a winding-up gallop yesterday morning.
Ridden by Ryan Munger, Sincerely ran out 600m in a leisurely 40.1sec.
A French-bred gelding, Sincerely has not seen much racing at Kranji, but his four starts have produced a win and a second.
The win was in Class 3 company and it was on debut. It was a 1,200m race and his rider, Louis-Philippe Beuzelin, brought him home with a well-timed run.
Munger was on board at his last start, when he ran second to Sky Rocket. That was over the mile. Again, he was doing his best work at the finish.
Saturday's 1,600m trip is not an issue. The Polytrack is what will test him. If he handles the surface, he just might prove - again - that 76 is just a number.
Further down the ratings scale, there is Unconquered, who also galloped yesterday. He is on 59 points in Saturday's Race 10 and he clocked 36.4sec.
While the form figures beside his name would not inspire much confidence, his run three starts back, when third to Tax Free over the 1,100m on the Poly, was not too shabby.
From trainer Leslie Khoo's yard, the eight-year-old produced a decent effort in a trial on Dec 3, when third to two talented youngsters - Crystal Sixty and Eight Ball.
Come Saturday, keep him on your shortlist when you are planning those novelty bets.
The other two Saturday runners who went against the clock yesterday were Gallant Black (44.2sec) and Makkem Lad (37.9). Gallant Black is engaged in Race 2 and Makkem Lad in Race 8.