Racing

Magnificent 7 back at the Kranji trials

Plenty of barrier action today and tomorrow to get ready for racing reboot

While Singapore racing has yet to get the green light to resume from the Phase 2 reopening, after community infections remained stable, barrier trials will go full steam ahead from this morning.

There will be plenty of action at Kranji, since racing came to a halt in early April because of the coronavirus pandemic, and many horses need to be put on their toes to get them back for competitive racing.

The Singapore Turf Club (STC) is hoping racing can resume behind closed doors next month. Online horse race wagering was allowed from last Wednesday.

There are eight trials this morning, with fields of five or six unraced newcomers and those horses aiming for barrier certificates.

The action will get more intense tomorrow morning, with 10 trials on the card.

Except for the opener, which is an official race trial with only four unraced horses, the other nine trials will have eight to 11 runners. Majority are just out for barrier practices.

Only in the second trial, three of the eight horses are taking tests to qualify to race.

They are Blitzing (a 71-rated newcomer), Bright Sun (1,000m vet test) and Sky Eye (1,000m vet and blinkers test).

All trials are staged over 1,000m on the Polytrack.

Another piece of good news brought the smiles back for the seven expatriate jockeys who stayed in Singapore during the shutdown.

After being unable to ride trackwork for a few months, jockeys Vlad Duric, John Powell, Ruan Maia, Marc Lerner, Louis-Philippe Beuzelin, Ryan Munger and Juan Paul van der Merwe have been allowed to return to the track. They are all engaged for the morning trials.

Earlier, with no income from riding fees and winning commissions, Michael Rodd, Daniel Moor and Patrick Moloney returned to ride in Australia.

New Zealand lass Alysha Collett also flew to ride in Australia, where her elder brother Jason plies his trade.

All jockeys and working personnel have to adhere to safe management measures, including Safe Entry registration, temperature taking, safe distancing and wearing of masks.

One jockey quipped the return to the track was like being "freed from prison".

HORSE RACING