Fitzsimmons' duo shipshape
Golden Monkey and Cyclone turn heads at gallops ahead of Saturday’s G1 Raffles Cup
One would have thought, with trainer Ricardo Le Grange’s pair of Raffles Cup contenders having ruled the training track on Monday, Tuesday morning would be robbed of much of the excitement.
Wrong. Out there on a sunny Tuesday – and even without Katak and Hongkong Great – Kranji was abuzz.
And the vibes came from Tim Fitzsimmons’ gallopers.
True to form, they lit up the track.
Golden Monkey, forever a sentimental favourite with the Kranji faithful, showed up in all his glory as did his stablemate Cyclone.
Sent out in separate gallops, both horses somehow returned identical times for the 600m, stopping the clock at 39.9sec.
As for their level of fitness heading into Saturday’s Raffles Cup – the first leg of the Singapore Triple Crown Series – Fitzsimmons would have said “no worries there” and he would have been spot-on.
Golden Monkey and Cyclone appear to be tuned up to the minute and focused for the big showing in the $300,000 Group 1 race to be run over the mile.
The Raffles Cup kicks off the Triple Crown series, which is also made up of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1,800m) on Oct 14 and the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m) on Nov 11.
Then again, with the likes of Lim’s Kosciuszko, Katak and Hongkong Great firing on all cylinders, they will have to be at the top of their game.
For the record, Daniel Meagher’s and Kranji’s favourite son on four legs, Lim’s Kosciuszko, did make a morning appearance, too.
But it was more like a good stretch as his regular partner Wong Chin Chuen restricted him to a strong canter.
But, on the day, it was all about the two Fitzsimmons fighters.
And it was about time they had that spot of attention.
Last time out, Golden Monkey had to play second fiddle to Lim’s Kosciuszko when agonisingly beaten by a length in Group 1 Lion City Cup (1,200m) on Aug 27.
As for Cyclone, he deserves better than that solitary win from his 12 race starts. And, last time out on Lion City Cup day, he too fell one short, having to take second – by a nostril in that race won by the re-energised Steven Burridge-trained Invincible Tycoon.
That, too, was over the mile and, if anything, it would have pumped up the adrenaline going into the Raffles Cup.
Cyclone arrived at Kranji in July 2019, having won twice in Australia as Wheelhouse over trips of 1,400m and 1,800m.
One of those victories was in a weight-for-age race over the 1,800m on the Gold Coast.
Sent to the races at Kranji just 12 times, he is still a work in progress. So, hold him in reserve. He can blow in at nice odds.
Sure, come Saturday, beating Lim’s Kosciuszko will be like climbing a mountain. But it is a height which both Cyclone and Golden Monkey can scale.
Also on track, and trying to put a dent in Lim’s Kosciuszko’s impressive big-race record, is Mr Malek.
With A’Isisuhairi Kasim doing the steering, the Oscar Racing Stable-owned moneyspinner turned in a good gallop, running out the trip in 41.8.
One of a pair from Burridge’s barn – the other being Invincible Tycoon – Mr Malek gets into Saturday’s action on the back of a good third in the Lion City Cup.
With $943,762 already in the bank from his 10 victories going back to Aug 11, 2019, a top-three showing will earn him membership into Kranji’s million-dollar club. Now, that would be something for this talented trier.
Not to be outdone, Mr Malek’s stablemate Invincible Tycoon also pounded the track, running the 600m in 40.7.
After making the board in several big races going back to June 11, when third to Super Salute in the Silver Bowl, Invincible Tycoon has been racing with renewed vigour recently and he should have a say in the finish of the Raffles Cup.
But if you are looking for a runner to really add juice to your quartet bet, you may want to consider tossing Sacred Croix into the mix.
The old boy was asked to go fast by Louis-Philippe Beuzelin and he eventually clocked 36.3 for the 600m.
Owned by Raffles Racing Stable and prepared by Jerome Tan, Sacred Croix likes to do his racing from the back of the field.
If not given enough respect, the nine-year-old could be the one doing his best work late.