King's Command: Win the Kranji Mile
Rising star has that million-dollar look, while last year’s winner Minister is stubbornly good
It is upon us. The Kranji Mile.
It has been a year since we cheered home jockey A’Isisuhairi Kasim and Minister, who beat Lim’s Lightning and Rocket Star to the bumper share of the $1 million prize purse.
Well, what a difference a year makes – for Minister, that is.
The defending champion was out on the training track at Kranji yesterday morning – but he proved as stubborn as they come.
Like a petulant youngster, the now six-year-old had a mind of his own. With A’Isisuhairi on the reins, he simply dug in his hooves and refused to gallop on the turf track. He kept spinning around.
When his rider finally got him to canter, he obliged for a few hundred metres before stopping and turning around to walk back.
It was like he had decided, enough was enough.
Well, if it was any consolation, Minister did eventually break into a gallop.
But he did not make time, travelling only at strong pace work.
Perhaps, the theatrics were just a smokescreen.
He is saving the best for Saturday, when the creme de la creme of Singapore’s sprinters and milers line up for the first big race of the year. We shall see.
Anyway, there was no such show from King’s Command.
He was all business when taken out by jockey Mohd Zaki.
He clocked a more-than-decent 37.4sec for the 600m gallop and it will garner him plenty of fans for the big race.
King’s Command has been a good horse for trainer Shane Baertschiger, having charged through the ranks in the last six months.
A winner of back-to-back races last October – albeit in Class 4 – he defied promotion, winning his next race in Class 3.
As if that was not impressive enough, he then went on to demolish a Kranji Stakes B line-up over 1,400m.
That day, late last month when having to carry 58kg, he came from off the pace to win by 11/4 lengths.
It was a powerful statement of intent and, while five of King’s Command’s seven successes have been over 1,400m, the 1,600m trip should not pose a problem.
Indeed, if there is a horse that will be running on full steam in the Kranji Mile, it could be this ghostly grey son of Tavistock.
One who just might attempt to lead them home will be the exciting Lim’s Kosciuszko.
It was almost three weeks ago that he was stopped in his tracks from extending his unbeaten run to nine wins.
That was that. He will carry loads of sentimental support. If the race is run to suit, he could still find his ninth Kranji success.
Lim’s Kosciuszko commanded plenty of attention when brought out for a spot of cantering by his regular rider, Danny Beasley.
The general feeling among trackwatchers was that he looked in fine trim.
Though beaten over the 1,400m trip last time, he will easily see out the mile. He won over that distance in March.
Indeed, that day, he ran out the trip in an impressive time of 1:34.07sec.
Trainer Daniel Meagher will also be banking on a big showing from his other champion – Lim’s Lightning – and he just might get it.
The Kranji Mile “stars” were also shining bright on Monday morning.
Among those strutting their stuff were Katak and Rocket Star.
Prepared by Ricardo Le Grange, Katak cantered to loosen up before running the 600m in 35.5sec.
Rocket Star, who ran a huge race when third last year, had Jake Bayliss doing the navigating when running that same distance in 38.7sec. That, too, after a strong canter.
Both runners carry impressive credentials into the race and will be among the favourites.
Yesterday’s Kranji gallops by horses engaged on Saturday:
KRANJI MILE (INTERNATIONAL GROUP 3/S’PORE GROUP 1)
Hard Too Think H ( Lerner) 40.2.
Gold Star H 39. Fame Star 37.7.
Minister (K A’Isisuhairi) pace work on turf. King’s Command H (M Zaki) 37.4. Circuit Mission (CC Wong) 38.
Monday: Katak H canter/35.5.
Rocket StarH (D Beasley) canter/38.7. Mr Malek (B Pinheiro) 45/35. Top Knight 40.4.
Spirit Of Big Bang (L Beuzelin) 39.5. Heartening Flyer 37.5. Trumpy 43/35. Elite Incredible 37.5. Tangible 39.2.
KRANJI STAKES A – 1,200M
Kharisma (Lerner) 40.1. Grand Koonta H (M Nunes) 38.7. Makkem Lad canter/35.8. Sacred Gift H (Wong) 36.9. Sacred Rebel (M Akmazani) 36.5. Darc Bounty (N Zyrul) 41.4.
Monday: Celavi H 35.9. Starlight 41.3. Vittoria Perfetta 37.5.
CLASS 3 – 1,800M
So Hi Class H (Zyrul) 38.7.
Circuit Mission (Wong) 38.
Leatherhead (J Bayliss) barrier/35.6. Sun Fortress canter/35.6. Real Efecto (Beasley) barrier/37. Luck Of Master 37.5. Preditor (M Kellady) 38.5. Big Tiger H (Akmazani) 38.8.
Monday: Pennywise H (T Krisna) canter/38.7. Elite Incredible 37.5.
CLASS 3 – 1,400M
Red Ocean H (Kellady) 37.7.
Savvy Command H (Nunes) 39.1.
Songgong Hera canter/44.2.
Sabah Star H (O Chavez) barrier/37.9. The August H (Wong) 41.3. Romantic H canter/44.1. Be Bee (Zaki) 37.7. Golden Flame H (K Hakim) 36.4. Street Cry Success H (WH Kok) 38.5.
Monday: Ironchamp (Kok) 37.8. Karisto H 38.9. My Man 45/36.
CLASS 4 – 1,600M
Relentless H 40.5. Sun Power canter/35.6. Song Of Nature
(TH Koh) 38.8. Russian Twist
(R Stewart) 37.8.
Monday: Lankaran H (Beuzelin) 39.7. Lim’s Dreamwalker pace work/38.8.
CLASS 4 (1) – 1,400M
Sacred Judgement H (Akmazani) 37.9. Vgor H canter/43.7. Boomba 40.1. Ricvelo (Zyrul) 38.8. Shang Chi H (Kellady) 37.9. Zygarde canter/43.7. Rocket Ryane (Bayliss) canter/37.7. Monday: On Line 38.9.
CLASS 4 (2) – 1,400M
Super Impact (Bayliss) 37.1 on turf. Augustano 43.3. Passport To Rome 42.7. Amazing Breeze H (Nunes) 39.4. In All His Glory H 38.9. Lucky Imperator H 36.7.
Metal World H 41.
Wind Of Dubai (A’Isisuhairi) 42.1.
Salamence (B Woodworth) 41.4.
Crown Gift canter/43.8.
Monday: Iron Ruler H 36.3.
Harry Dream H 38.5.
CLASS 4 (1) – 1,200M
Illustrious H 39.5. Lim’s Craft H (Beasley) 35.7. Win Win H (Chavez) 36.4. Bionics (Woodworth) 38.6.
Charger (Stewart) 41.3. Master Player H (R Shafiq) 39.1.
Aftermath H (PH Seow) 37.6. Clergyman 40.2. Exceed Natural (I Saifudin) 36.8.
Monday: Alqantur H 39.7.
CLASS 4 (2) – 1,200M
Everest H (Nunes) 37.2. Stenmark H (Hakim) 37.8. Be You H (Kellady) 37. Proof Perfect (Stewart) 41.5.
Blazing Kid H (Zyrul) 43.8.
Beat The Light (Lerner) 41.9.
Monday: Kassab H 45/36
Royal Return (O Chavez) 36.5.
Tom Cat H 35.5.
NOVICE – 1,200M
War Commander H (Wong) 37.3.
Golden Monkey H 40.7. Bingo Master H (R Shafiq) 40.1. Surrey Hills H (Beasley) 37.7. Just Because (Zaki) 37.9. Shanghai Star H (Kellady) 37.4. Captain Legacy (Nunes) 39.2. Chosen One 38.6.
Monday: Graviton (Kok) pace work/38.8. Istataba H 38.5.
CLASS 5 (1) – 1,400M
Fireworks H 38.2. Superlative (Krisna) 38.4. Holy Eleanor H 40.
Diamond Beauty (Koh) 38.8. Royalty H (Zyrul) 38.6. Runminderbinderrun 41.7.
Awesome Conqueror (T Rehaizat) 36.2. Super Speed (Kok) 39.4.
Monday: Prodigal 39.4. Adipson (Kok) 38.3. Ironprince (Pinheiro) barrier/35.8.
CLASS 5 (2) – 1,400M
I’m A Conqueror (Saifudin) 38.8.
See Yah H (Koh) 43.8. Super Generous (Koh) 37.7.
Leggenda H (Chavez) 37.8. Chipmunks (Shafiq) 37.8. Heng Xing canter/40.9.
Footstepsonthecar H (S Shafrizal) canter/41.1. Easylights (A’Isisuhairi) 38.8. Big Day 38.1. Auspicious Day 37.7. Happy Heart 39.2.