Rivals on their toes ahead of showdown, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Rivals on their toes ahead of showdown

Lim's Shot, Splinter and Katagas light up morning workouts

Come Sunday, save some money for Race 9. On what we saw at the gallops yesterday morning, the Kranji Stakes C race is shaping up to be a shootout between Lim's Shot, Splinter and Katagas.

All three were trotted out and put through their paces and, with the exception of Katagas who was ridden by R Zawari, the other two had their race jockeys in the saddle.

SPLINTER had Vlad Duric on the reins when covering the 600m in 37.8sec.

A winner at his last start over 1,100m when he blitzed the field to canter in by three-and-a-half lengths, Splinter looks handily weighted in Sunday's 1,200m sprint on the Poly.

Prepared for the races by Bruce Marsh, the four-year-old Australian-bred is equally at ease on both surfaces, having won on the grass when having his debut in October last year.

When winning his last start, Splinter came from deeper than midfield to romp home unchallenged.

Indeed, such was the ease of that victory, I reckon, had Duric taken a look behind at the 150m mark, he would have seen panic on the faces of the chasing pack.

Opposing him on Sunday will be a formidable pair from trainer Laurie Laxon's yard - LIM'S SHOT and KATAGAS - and it wouldn't surprise if they, together with Splinter, pay out on the Tierce.

Like Splinter, Lim's Shot is also a last-start winner and like his rival he too scored a fluent victory - leading from go to whoa over the 1,200m trip on grass.

Another son of Showcasing - who does seem to be the flavour of the season as far as sires are concerned - Lim's Shot had bagged two other wins before that last victory on July 23.

Those were also over the 1,200m and the win in November last year when he opened his Kranji account was on the alternate surface.

Lim's Shot looked in good order under yesterday morning's slight drizzle when running the 600m in 38.1sec. That was after a strong canter in the company of stablemate Katagas.

While his last win was way back in April last year, Katagas has recently been a busy bee at the trials and one in particular was truly impressive.

That was on May 11 when he beat the likes of Major Advancement by three-and-a-half lengths when clocking 60.11sec for the 1,000m trip.

A three-time winner from 16 starts, Katagas is not as flashy as his two rivals in Sunday's sprint.

But the fact that Laxon has snared the services of two-kilo claimer Matthew Poon could make the seven-year-old look extremely attractive at the betting window.

So, with a proven frontrunner in Lim's Shot and two genuine contenders in Splinter and Katagas who will be charging home at the business end of things, the finish of Race 9 could be something to savour.