Nunes bags four-timer
He snares four trials with Ace Sovereign, Rocket Star, In All His Glory and Pungarehu
Singapore’s three-time champion jockey Manoel Nunes is not only making waves in the races, but also at the trials.
On a drizzly and overcast morning at Kranji yesterday, the season’s leading rider with 11 winners – one ahead of Danny Beasley – won four of the five heats staged over the Polytrack 1,000m.
After finishing third in the opener on the Ricardo Le Grange-trained smart debut winner War Commander, Nunes swept the remaining four trials on Ace Sovereign, Rocket Star, In All His Glory and Pungarehu.
Rocket Star is also prepared by Le Grange, while Tim Fitzsimmons trains Ace Sovereign and In All His Glory. Pungarehu is a Donna Logan-trained three-year-old Australian-bred newcomer by Dream Ahead out of Ohmygod.
Rocket Star, once a bleeder, was the fastest winner. He was the only horse who covered the trip in under one minute, in 59.28sec.
It was an eye-catching trial, as he raced away nicely to win by 41/4 lengths.
But, while impressed, I was more captivated by Kranji Mile winner Minister and Mr Malek, who finished beautifully for second and third respectively.
They were not out to break any records and came home fluidly. They could have gone much closer.
A’Isisuhairi Kasim was aboard Minister and apprentice jockey Simon Kok rode Mr Malek.
Both horses have not raced since last November’s $1 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup over 2,000m. Mr Malek finished third behind Lim’s Lightning and Hard Too Think. Minister was 11th.
They should be back in action soon to get the lead-up runs to the Kranji Mile on May 21. The 1,600m race will be the first feature of the 2022 Singapore racing season.
Back to Rocket Star, the five-year-old Australian-bred has not raced for an even longer period.
His last assignment was on July 3 last year. He finished sixth behind Mr Malek in the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup over 1,600m.
Before that, he was a narrow third behind Minister and Lim’s Lightning in the Kranji Mile.
Yesterday’s trial success indicates that he is progressing well for his comeback next weekend.
In All His Glory, a three-time winner from 13 outings, also looks prepared for a top show in his next start. The five-year-old Australian-bred won by a bigger margin – 51/2 lengths – in the second-fastest time, 1min 00.02sec.
The chestnut gelding simply flapped his wings in the straight to spreadeagle his rivals, as if they were standing still.
In his last start on Jan 15, In All His Glory was not disgraced when fifth to Brutus in Class 4 over 1,200m on turf. He was slightly over two lengths behind the winner. He has improved a lot.
Yesterday’s Kranji barrier trial results:
1 Knight Love H (S Shafrizal)
2 Wild Bee H (R Iskandar)
3 War Commander H (M Nunes)
4 Grand Fighter
5 Sir Elton (K A’Isisuhairi)
6 Revolution (I Saifudin)
8 Nordic Gem (O Chavez)
Margins and time: Ns, 11/4, hd, 2, ns, nk, 1/2 (1min 01.16sec)
1 Ace Sovereign H (Nunes)
2 Sun Rectitude H (A’Isisuhairi)
3 See Yah (Chavez)
4 Lady Stuning
5 City Gate (Saifudin)
6 Battle Win (T Rehaizat)
7 Lim’s Moreready (D Beasley)
Margins and time: 1/2, 23/4, 43/4, 21/2, 21/4, 181/4 (1:00.59)
1 Rocket Star H (Nunes)
2 Minister H (A’Isisuhairi)
3 Mr Malek H (WH Kok)
4 Lim’s Dream (Beasley)
5 Ablest Ascend
6 Savvy Command (M Lerner)
7 Green Star (PH Seow)
8 Sing Our Song (L Beuzelin)
Margins and time: 41/4, nk, ns, 1/2, hd, 13/4, 1 (59.28)
1 In All His Glory H (Nunes)
2 Silent Partner (Lerner)
3 Starharmony (Beuzelin)
4 Sand Box (A’Isisuhairi)
5 First Choice (Seow)
6 Silent Is Gold (F Yusoff)
7 Galaxy Star (M Kellady)
8 Run And Run (M Zaki)
Margins and time: 51/2, nk, nk, 1, 33/4, 1, 1 (1:00.02)
1 Pungarehu H (Nunes)
2 Samurai Express H (S John)
3 Konan H (Beuzelin)
4 Circuit Star (Chavez)
6 Victory Joy (Saifudin)
7 Fiddlestick (Rehaizat)
8 Khao Manee (Lerner)
Margins and time: 1/2, 1/2, 3/4, 11/4, 31/2, 1, 11/2 (1:00.20)