Give Grand Koonta another chance
James Peters' prolific grey can bounce back in Group 2 EW Barker Trophy
We all know how honest and consistent Grand Koonta has been.
Just look at his record - 10 starts for five wins and four seconds.
His only blot was his last-start sixth to Kranji's next big thing Inferno in the $400,000 Group 1 Lion City Cup over 1,200m.
I believe he was a victim of the dreaded second-run syndrome. It was his second run after resuming with his first-up victory from an eight-month layoff.
Mind you, if you look at the margins of the Lion City Cup, he was not beaten far - by only 41/2 lengths.
Hence, it was a good effort, considering that he came from near last from the second-widest barrier in the capacity field of 16.
The winner became the fastest Lion City Cup winner in its long history with his 1min 08.28sec.
Now, that was a swift and truly-run race. It bodes well for the finishers such as Grand Koonta for the step-up in trip.
Although the China Horse Club-owned grey's five wins were all over 1,200m on turf, the extra 200m in the EW Barker Trophy will put the horse in good stead.
After all, he won his races with his powerful late run.
Grand Koonta has been unlucky not to have won a feature yet.
From two other attempts, he had to play second fiddle - both occasions he lost by a mere head.
Incidentally, one of them was in this race last year.
For a moment, we all thought his pulverising finish would get him there, but front-runner Fame Star held on resolutely.
Then, on Jan 26, he just failed to catch Bold Thruster in the Group 3 Fortune Bowl over the same 1,400m trip.
From what he has done so far, it is obvious Grand Koonta is all heart. He always gives of his best. Forget his Lion City Cup run. That was with good excuses.
The thing is he has drawn the second-widest barrier on Sunday. Will it be his undoing again? We will see.