Grand Koonta set for hat-trick
Promising James Peters-trained Irish-bred shows up impressively in final gallop at Kranji
By the way he is going, Grand Koonta is primed for his hat-trick bid on Saturday.
The promotion to Class 3 and meeting some nice horses in the 1,200m race should not trouble the honest and ultra-consistent James Peters-trained Irish-bred.
The handsome grey has certainly gone from strength to strength with racing.
After completing his double from three starts - he finished second first-up - Grand Koonta was impressive in his recent rial. Although he finished only third to Dash, you could see that he was not out to break records.
Jockey Michael Rodd, his last-start winning jockey, was reserving his mount the whole way. I guess Rodd could have won the trial if he wanted to.
Yesterday morning on the right-handed Track 6 at Kranji, Rodd was back aboard to give Grand Koonta his final piece of solid work for Saturday's match.
Again, Grand Koonta was not asked to do much but he looked more perked up than in the trial. He bowled along beautifully over the last 600m in 37.3sec and pulled with his ears pricked.
With the work done, it is now up to his raceday performance and I am sure Grand Koonta will be the one they have to beat.
Peters has got the China Horse Club-owned galloper fighting fit and raring to go.
Both Grand Koonta's wins came on the turf and that is the surface he will run on this Saturday. He was second on debut on the Polytrack over 1,100m, losing to a good horse, Ararat Lady.
In his last-start victory on June 6, Grand Koonta showed he was top-class material - if his winning time is anything to go by.
After sitting handily in fourth spot, he gradually progressed under his own steam and the way he disposed of his Class 4 rivals was classic.
Then came the winning time: 1min min 09.49sec. Mind you, he did it with 59kg. On Saturday, he will carry 57kg. Spot-on.
Gallops by horses engaged on Friday
CLASS 2 - 1,100M POLY
Super Winner 44.2 Blue Swede (J Powell) 42.3. Sacred Rebel * (R Zawari) 34.8. Special King 43.5. Only Win 35.6.
Monday: McGregor 42/41. Viviano (JP van der Merve) 40.1. Marine Treasure * (M Kellady) 38.3. Dutrow (R Clark) 37.3. So You Too * 37.2 Miss Dusty 37.5. Fulife King (B Woodworth) 40.1.
NOVICE - 1,400M
My Big Boss (D Moor) 38.2. Lim's Passion * (WH Kok) 41.9. Super Ray (N Zyrul) 37.4. Quadcopter 39.5.
Angel's Choice pace work.
Monday: Bejewelled (K A'Isisuhairi) 37.2. Runfinnrun * (C Murray) 39.3. Axel (MM Firdaus) 37.2.
CLASS 4 - 1,600M POLY
Foresto * (R Iskandar) 38.4. Star Empire * (Powell) 41.6. Carnelian * (M Lerner) 39.6. Bebop 39.6. I Am Invisible 43.5. Sun Ace (V Duric) 38.2. Storm Ryker 39.7. Silent Boss 41.2. Spur Me On (A Syahir) canter/42.3.
Pioneer Step 36.3.
Monday: Smiling Proud (Woodworth) 38.1. Sacred Sea (Merve) 38.1.
CLASS 4 (1) - 1,200M POLY
Lord Of Cloud (Woodworth) pace work. River Golden gallop. Sun Princeps 35.5. Fight For Glory 44.3. The Capital (Clark) 38.2. Optimum Star 44. Larceny 38.8.
Monday: Sportscaster (A'Isisuhairi) 37.6.
CLASS 4 (2) - 1,200M POLY
Julius Caesar * (M Rodd) 39.5. Northern Sun 36.5. Justice Smart pace work. Gratus * 41.4.
Monday: Raheeb * (J Azzopardi) 34.5. Sacred Don * (Firdaus) 35.6. Ben Gunn * (Zyrul) 39.9. Libeccio 41.9.
OPEN MAIDEN - 1,600M
Ordos Legend pace work. Iron Fist (Lerner) 39.6. Wira Sakti * (Syahir) 39.2. Alwrich 38. The Nutter 36.8. Command & Control (I Saifudin) 40.5. Giant Killing 35.3. Heluska 38.2.
Monday: Cause To Fly 39.5. Blue Chip 39.9. Rock Me Easy (Murray) 37.8. Invictus Warrior (Kellady) 37.4. Lim's Mystery (Kok) gallop.
CLASS 5 - 1,100M POLY
Rich Fortune (Lerner) 43.6. Hee's Forte pace work. Thoth Warrior 42.8. Lucky Boy * (WS Chan) 43.3. Phan Nee Star gallop. Bring Me Joy 44.
Monday: JK Formidable * (J See) 40.7. Sun Ares 38.5. Astra (A'Isisuhairi) 35.7.
RESTRICTED MAIDEN - 1,400M
Catch The Tiger (Powell) 44.. Ma Bao Bao 37.2. Flying Sky 42.5. Pisca Pisca (Lerner) 35.3.
Monday: Adipson gallop. Mowgli * 40/34.