Gold Star set to shine in $1-million Kranji Mile
Fitzsimmons-trained last-start 1,400m record breaker is at the top of his game
When the connections press on after thinking of resting the horse for another target, it makes you sit up.
The horse must have pulled up great and is in peak order to sway the decision.
The horse I am talking about is Gold Star, whose owner, Gold Stable, and trainer, Tim Fitzsimmons, have decided to go for tomorrow’s $1 million International Group 3/Singapore Group 1 Kranji Mile in Race 10 (4.30pm).
The initial thought was the 1,600m trip would not be ideal: the horse may not settle as well.
After all, Gold Star’s seven wins were over 1,200m (twice) and 1,400m (five times). But he finished third over 1,600m once.
So, the six-year-old Australian-bred is supposed to rest and target for the $300,000 Group 1 Lion City Cup over 1,200m on Aug 14.
But, with the Redente gelding taking no harm from his last-start smashing run, Fitzsimmons has decided to go for it. You have to be in it to win it.
“We will still have plenty of time to give him a nice break before the Lion City Cup,” said the affable Australian.
A horse I have a lot of time for since his days with Fitzsimmons’ mentor, Cliff Brown, Gold Star has certainly thrived after his victory on April 30.
He looked rock-solid in his gallop on Tuesday morning. He also ticks a lot of boxes for me.
While there is no denying the Kranji Mile, which is the first Singapore feature race of this season, is open and exciting, Gold Star has what it takes to win it
Wasn’t he the one who brought trainer Daniel Meagher’s unbeaten Lim’s Kosciuszko down to earth?
Lim’s Kosciuszko, whose winning streak ended at eight by Gold Star’s 3/4-length beating, will likely be the favourite, especially with jockey Danny Beasley jumping off reigning Horse of the Year Lim’s Lightning to ride him.
Beasley rode Lim’s Lightning to finish a narrow second behind Minister in last year’s Kranji Mile.
The ride has gone to jockey Wong Chin Chuen, who rode Lim’s Kosciuszko last time.
Gold Star, with his 50kg handicap and suited by a genuine pace, surged up to beat Lim’s Kosciuszko in the new 1,400m long course record in 1min 20.48sec.
The way he won suggests he is as good a contender as Lim’s Kosciuszko and dual Group 1 winner Hard Too Think.
The Stephen Gray-trained Hard Too Think was my initial top pick, but he has drawn very wide and is facing the second-run syndrome.
His third to Gold Star was his first run since finishing second to Lim’s Lightning in the $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup over 2,000m last November.
Besides the improvement from his record-breaking run, Gold Star also has the jockey with the big-race temperament at Kranji.
He is Ronnie Stewart, who equalled the feat of his fellow Australians, Tommy Farthing and Alan Trevena, in winning three Singapore Gold Cups.
He won it on the same horse, El Dorado. He is also associated with the champion mare Jolie’s Shinju.
The thing is Stewart has got his winning rhythm back after his slow Singapore comeback.
When told that I am pledging my allegiance to Gold Star, Fitzsimmons said: “I hope you are right. I think barrier 11 makes it tricky. It will take Ronnie’s best work to get him to switch off and settle over the mile.”
Yes, I hope so, too.
I admit I might be tipping a bit from the heart, but the head also tells me that Gold Star can shine with the right run. Good luck.