Racing

Gold Reward can stay all day

The best from yesterday's trackwork at Kranji

At times, French jockey Marc Lerner may look untidy in the saddle - especially when he is riding hell for leather over the concluding stages of a race.

But his "style" is effective.

This year, he has "carried" 30 horses to victory. Only Hakim Kamaruddin (49 winners) and Danny Beasley (39) have brought home more winners.

You could say, Lerner's one of those quiet achievers. Just last week, he brought home the Hideyuki Takaoka-trained Wind Rhapsody to a stylish win over the 1,800m.

Come Saturday, the 30-year-old could pick up another winner when Gold Reward tackles the demanding 2,000m on Kranji's grass track.

Trained by Ricardo Le Grange, Gold Reward worked like a good horse on the training track yesterday morning.

With Lerner in the plate, Gold Reward didn't do a thing wrong when running 60m in 37.1sec.

The 2,000m trip does really test those who attempt the distance, but Gold Reward is stamina-personified.

Indeed, you could say the 2,000m is a trip "he has for breakfast". His record over the distance is truly impressive. Three of his six wins have been over the journey.

It was five weeks ago that Gold Reward - now a seven-year-old - posted a win over the 2,000m. And he did it in style, nosing out Luck Of Master in a photo-finish.

Also impressive on the training track were From The Navy and Always Innocent.

From Shane Baertschiger's yard, the pair went together at a steady clip to cover 600m in 37.7sec.

Mohd Zaki partnered From The Navy, while Matthew Kellady rode Always Innocent.

While both horses are not bound for Hollywood anytime soon, they have enough in the tank to win their respective races on Saturday.

From The Navy caused a huge upset some three weeks ago. Ridden by Zaki, he mowed down the $14 second favourite, Teardrops, to land the goodies over the Polytrack 1,000m.

In a sharp sprint over that trip, the front runner usually takes no prisoners. But Zaki had other ideas.

He drove his mount hard to get From The Navy home and hosed by a length. That day, From The Navy rewarded his backers with a $213 payout.

As for Always Innocent, his last win was in Class 5.

He meets Class 4 opposition on the weekend but he should handle that rise in class.

Baertschiger has raced him sparingly and it is worth noting that at his last start, Always Innocent was obliged to race wide all the way in a Poly 1,100m race - but still managed to hold down third spot. He's a definite player.

One horse worth keeping an eye on is newcomer Konan.

He worked well for Louis-Philippe Beuzelin, running 600m in 37.4sec.

Aside from that training workout, Konan gets into Saturday's Open Maiden sprint on the back of two winning trials.

In that second trial just last week, he held second spot before Beuzelin released him at the 150m mark. He drew away to beat Heng Xing by almost two lengths.

He could win on debut - and it wouldn't surprise.

HORSE RACING