Ivanhoe ready to pick up the gauntlet
Former Malaysian galloper impresses at dawn
His last four runs may not inspire confidence. But we reckon IVANHOE is about ready to show us just why he was such a hit across the Causeway.
Now with trainer Mark Walker, he was all go on the training track yesterday, clocking 35sec for the 600m while in the company of stablemate HELLO MICHELLE.
Ivanhoe, who is owned by staunch turf supporter Tan Chin Nam, came across from Malaysia after completing his 2016 assignments and, after a trial in March, was pushed into the deep end in an Open Benchmark 67 sprint over the 1,000m on the Polytrack.
Still unfamiliar with his new surroundings, the stable weren't expecting miracles from their new acquisition and he ran accordingly, finishing almost five lengths behind stablemate Eatons Gold.
Three more outings followed. All weren't headline stuff. The last was on May 19 when he ran sixth behind Turquoise King over the 1,400m in a BM67 race.
Slowly, but surely, he was getting used to his new environment and, we reckon, the stable was looking for something easier.
Well, he seems to have settled in - as we saw on the training track - and, come Sunday, he will face off against Class 4 rivals in an 1,100m sprint on the turf.
Back home in Malaysia, when prepared for the races by Malcolm Thwaites, Ivanhoe was a revelation.
He won on debut on June 26 and made it a race-to-race double just two months later. Both races were over the 1,200m.
He would win again in October that year before being sent over here to contest the more lucrative races.
Can Ivanhoe open his Kranji account on Sunday? We believe he will run a terrific race.
Yesterday morning also belonged to two horses from the powerful Lim's Stable.
LIM'S SHOT and LIM'S SAMURAI went out together, cantered one round before matching strides over the final 600m which they covered in 36.3sec.
Vlad Duric was astride Lim's Shot while Danny Beasley steered Lim's Samurai. Both are trained by Laurie Laxon and both will carry solid form into their respective races on Sunday.
Lim's Samurai is one of two runners from the Lim's Stable contesting the $500,000 Patron's Bowl while last-start winner Lim's Shot will line up against some talented opposition in the Class 4 event over the mile.
Watch out also for a good showing from OLYMPIC ANTHEM. He gave a good account of himself on the training track when covering the 600m in 37.1sec.
Topweight in the classy OB 97 sprint over the 1,100m, Olympic Anthem was unlucky not to have finished better than third at his last outing.
He was inconvenienced soon after the start and had just three behind him when they straightened for the run home.
Come Sunday, expect a much-improved show from the six-year-old whose earnings are slowly creeping towards the half-million dollar mark.