In-form duo look hard to beat
Purple Rain the best bet tonight, Stay The Course can follow up with another victory on Sunday
Purple Rain and Stay The Course are currently bursting out of their skin and should rightfully earn their places as my best bets at Kranji tonight and Sunday respectively.
Purple Rain, a former Malaysian-based horse now under the care of trainer Tan Kah Soon at Kranji, has proven to be ultra consistent.
From two starts in Penang, the three-year-old Australian-bred ran second on debut over 1,300m but that run improved him tremendously. Second-up over 1,100m, also on a yielding track, he blasted his Restricted Maiden rivals by eight lengths. That was on Sept 22 last year.
Purple Rain was then sent down to Singapore to continue his racing career and he nearly scored first time out at Kranji.
Strongly backed down to $14 for his Kranji Stakes D debut over 1,200m on Feb 3, he led and was only run down late to finish a narrow third behind Eastiger. Only a neck and a head separated him from the winner.
Trainer Tan has now got Purple Rain in tip-top shape. Going on his barrier trial last week, he will take a lot of beating in another Kranji Stakes D event over 1,200m in Race 4 tonight.
There was a lot to like about his trial. He gave when asked and was taken hold of by two-time champion apprentice jockey CC Wong. Nudged a little again with about 150m left, Purple Rain gave plenty and was again switched off by Wong. He could have won by more than the three-length margin had he been not been kept in check.
The Shane Baertschiger-trained Stay The Course came from a long way back to win on Feb 22 and he was quickly labelled as a possible Singapore Derby prospect next year.
For this, the three-year-old New Zealand-bred with the staying blood via his granddam Zabeel will have to earn the rating points. One thing is for sure, Stay The Course will relish Sunday's 1,600m trip.
Although it is not always easy to follow up a Restricted Maiden win in Class 4, Stay The Course seems to have that special quality to pull through. I saw his final gallop on Wednesday morning; it was superb. He went better than his much higher-rated stablemate Flak Jacket.