Mr Malek on 1,600m mission, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Mr Malek on 1,600m mission

4YO to get the miles in the legs for the trip

Mr Malek, a five-in-a-row winner from seven starts, has been thrown into the deep end by his trainer, Lee Freedman.

The Australian Hall of Fame trainer is running his exciting four-year-old over 1,600m for the first time within two weeks of his last race.

After all, he has good reasons for entering Mr Malek in tomorrow's $100,000 Class 1 event, against the big boys like Countofmontecristo, Mr Clint, Makanani and King Louis - all Group winners.

Mr Malek, whose five wins were all over 1,200m, will need a good prep to take on Group 2 Singapore Classic winner Inferno in the $400,000 Group 1 Singapore Guineas over 1,600m on Sept 26. He must be able to run a strong 1,600m, if he were to challenge the much-vaunted favourite for the top prize.

At his last start on Aug 30, Mr Malek was shouted the winner in the Singapore Classic in his first attempt over 1,400m but weakened to finish a 21/2-length third to Inferno.

Tomorrow's assignment over 1,600m in Race 12 will add the extra miles before the big test. Furthermore, his charge gets in the race with only the minimum bottom weight, 50kg.

"After Inferno was so dominant in the Classic, the plan is to make sure he can run over 1,600m," said Freedman.

"The horse is really well and he will have no weight on his back. It was the only opportunity to run him before the Guineas.

"There is a month between the Classic and the Guineas, and I've run many of my horses one fortnight apart back home, and it's worked. It's a worthwhile gamble."

His new "stable" jockey, A'Isisuhairi Kasim, who rode Mr Malek at the last two starts, will be retained for the horse.