Singapore Guineas duo go great guns
Bestseller and Luxury Brand show they are ready for Saturday’s Group 2 race for 3YOs
Fresh from finishing second and third respectively in the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m) and the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1,400m), Bestseller and Luxury Brand appear to be the form horses going into Saturday’s Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1,600m).
Run over the mile on grass, the Guineas is traditionally the third and final leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge (except 2021 and 2022 because of Covid-19). The 2023 edition will see the youngsters race for a purse of $150,000.
Bestseller and Luxury Brand already have bragging rights, after finishing runner-up and third in the first two legs.
But imagine the boost it will be to their reputations if either one of them takes out the Guineas?
Victory will put the winner in an elite group of racers, who include the likes of War Affair (2014), Debt Collector (2016) and Inferno (2020).
But first things first.
Are the two runners up to the task?
Well, if their work on the training track can be used as a gauge to their level of fitness, it is safe to say that trainers Ricardo Le Grange and Donna Logan have done great in getting their hopefuls ticking over nicely.
Le Grange prepares Bestseller while Logan has all along been working with Luxury Brand.
Both gallopers were among a few Guineas aspirants out for morning workouts on Tuesday and the pair looked to be in rattling form.
Bestseller had Bernardo Pinheiro in the saddle when he reeled off the 600m in a smart 37.2sec, while Yusoff Fadzli was in charge of Luxury Brand who covered the same trip in 39.5.
The others who made time were Cash Cove (A’Isisuhairi Kasim) in 37.1, Maximum Control (Louis-Philippe Beuzelin) in 40.6, Arya Pakuan (Manoel Nunes) in 39.3 and February in 45.1.
All received the thumbs up from those at trackside, but the two talking points remained Bestseller and Luxury Brand.
Bestseller was a good thing beaten in the Sprint.
On jumping, Nunes, his rider on the day, lost the use of his offside stirrup which he regained shortly after.
But it was not the end of his woes. Bestseller hung out approaching the 900m and had to be steadied when crowded.
Despite all that, the $14 top pick in the race still managed to finish a head behind the winner, January.
A son of Dream Ahead, Bestseller knows what it is like to win races.
The youngster has already posted two wins from his eight Kranji starts, which began with a fourth placing behind – yes – Luxury Brand in September.
Three starts later, he had his name and number up in lights when winning a competitive Novice event on Jan 23.
In quick succession, he followed it up with another win, beating Knippenberg by a length in another Novice race.
It has been three months since that last success, and horse and trainer must be hungry for another trot up into the winner’s enclosure.
As for Luxury Brand, his last win was also in February and his subsequent two outings produced those two third-placings – in the Sprint and the Classic.
His connections cannot be faulted if they are already dreaming big things for Saturday.
Also in the Guineas, it could pay to keep an eye on Maximum Control.
Another one from Logan’s yard – she has three in the Guineas, including Sprint winner January – Maximum Control won on debut.
That was on April 23 and the race was over the 1,400m trip.
On the strength of that victory when he beat Imperial Parade by a length, Maximum Control will relish his first attempt over 1,600m.
Indeed, his style of running suits the mile.
In that first-up victory, the son of Written Tycoon came from a long way back and was putting on wings over the concluding stages.
The extra 200m on Saturday will be right up his alley and it will not come as a surprise to see him motoring home in the big race for Kranji’s three-year-olds.
While Bestseller and Luxury Brand are all geared up for Saturday’s task, one horse may stand in their way.
Trainer Michael Clements’ Classic winner Coin Toss has shown further progress.
On Monday, he sizzled over 600m in 33.9.
He will likely start the favourite on Saturday.
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