Muraahib likely to skip Lion City Cup

Lee Freedman prefers his charge to contest the $250,000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy race over 1,400m

With Saturday's win safely in the bag, money-spinner Muraahib is now being aimed at the $250,000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy on Nov 15.

What about the $400,000 Group 1 Lion City Cup, which comes up in a fortnight's time?

It is over 1,200m - which is right up Muraahib's alley.

Does that mean Muraahib will skip Singapore's premier sprint?

Well, from what it appears, it certainly looks like it.

According to his trainer Lee Freedman, that is the game plan. Muraahib would not run again until the EW Barker Trophy.

"That is the race I have in mind for him," said the trainer. "He's already well placed for it."

The EW Barker Trophy is a handicap feature run over the slightly longer 1,400m and that has now become Muraahib's target.

"Maybe not the Lion City. I already have Mr Malek and Excelling in that race," said Freedman. "I tend to fancy Muraahib more at the 1,400m, but things may change."

A model of consistency, Muraahib turned up on Saturday and produced a third Kranji victory in the $85,000 Always Certain 2011 Stakes Class 2 race over 1,200m.

In doing so, the galloper maintained his glowing record of never finishing worse than fourth in 13 starts, eight of them coming as place-getters.

Owned by Oscar Racing Stable, the Reset six-year-old has already proven to be a handy banker, having brought in cheques of more than $225,000 for his owner.

As for a recap of that last victory, Muraahib was given another polished display by Raffles Cup-winning Ruan Maia, who has a growing fan base.

In that 1,200m sprint, Aramani (Simon Kok Wei Hoong) took up the running. But the last-start all-the-way winner was no match when Muraahib came charging at him at the 300m mark.

Star Of Jupiter (Vlad Duric) did give the Freedman camp a scare when he burst out of the pack, lengthening strides with a dashing turn of speed.

But Muraahib was not to be outdone, as he kept finding extra to prevail by a neck.

Aramani held on gamely for third, 1¼ lengths away.

Muraahib clocked a smart 1min 09.28sec for the trip on the Short Course B.

"He's a very honest and consistent horse. He's been a terrific horse to the stable," said Freedman. "Maia got the chance to ride him and he made no mistake. He was on the right horse."

As were the punters, who backed him down to $12 favouritism.