King Zoustar to hold court, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

King Zoustar to hold court

Second at his last three runs, Poly 1,200m specialist on the quick back-up and flying

King Zoustar may not have greeted the judge for almost a year, but he cannot be faulted for not trying, especially at his six runs this prep.

A veteran of 10 wins, and a symmetrical record of 10-10-10 in 73 starts, the eight-year-old is still as fit as a flea.

He is on the quick back-up from his last-start second to Dancing Supremo in a Class 4 race (1,200m) on turf on Kranji Mile day on May 18.

It was the third time in a row that the son of Zoustar had found one better.

Adding further merit to the latest performance was the fact that he returned lame to the off-fore.

Such is his quick recovery rate that trainer Jason Ong, who is no stranger to giving his horses’ legs plenty of mileage, had no hesitation in bringing him back in the $50,000 Class 4 (1,200m) on Polytrack, the last event on the 10-race programme on May 25.

With all his wins recorded over 1,200m, he is clearly more proficient over Polytrack, given seven of them came on that surface.

Besides the pet trip and his residual form, barrier No. 1 is another asset in his corner.

Wide gates have not worked against him in the past, but still, coming off a relatively taxing run and with 58.5kg on his back, a ground-saving run on the rail comes in handy.

In-form jockey Bruno Queiroz holds another ace that can cement his three-win lead on 33 wins on the Singapore jockeys’ log.

There is no shortage of challengers who would not be too keen about King Zoustar shedding his bridesmaid tag, though.

The likely improver in the race may well be the Daniel Meagher-trained Pacific Padrino.

The chestnut son of Street Boss has not done anything wrong in three starts.

It was, however, at his second-last outing that he ran his best race.

Travelling a touch too close on a wide path facing the breeze throughout, he was left without a sprint in the run to the line.

But he never shirked the fight, boxing on gamely for fourth to Hurricane.

At his last start, he was doing his best work late to run fifth to Groovy, who will also be in the race, but with a 3.5kg swing in weights between them.

For a 3½-length beating, Pacific Padrino can turn the tables on his conqueror this time round, more so when Meagher’s four-year-old might have a little more upside.

Though impressive with that sizzling dash under Mohd Zaki, the Richard Lim-trained Groovy can be hit-and-miss as well, but a place in the tierce is still within his compass.

One of the star workers on May 21, Per Incrown may well bring that form to the races.

He ran third in the same race Groovy won. There is no reason why that form will not stack up against more or less the same opposition.

A first link-up with champion jockey Manoel Nunes is also a solid pointer to his chances.