Tiger Roar set to stalk and strike
Sunday’s $150,000 Group 2 Stewards’ Cup is shaping up to be a race for the sweepers
Not all of the stars for Sunday’s show were out there to strut their stuff on the training track at Kranji yesterday morning.
Indeed, just six of the 12 entered for the Stewards’ Cup went against the clock.
But, even then, there was no running away from the intent and purpose displayed by the half dozen.
Eight-time winner Lim’s Kosciuszko – always eye candy to clockers in the stands – was not one of them. But there was still plenty to whet the appetite.
Especially when a runner like Tiger Roar made an appearance.
The six-time winner, who might share favouritism with the topweight in Sunday’s race over the mile, was in his element, clocking 38.1sec for 600m.
From Michael Clements’ yard, the Falcon Racing No. 7 Stable-owned gelding is in the form of his life.
While his claim to fame must still be that awesome win in last year’s Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint over 1,200m, he is – a year later – at the peak of his prowess.
Some with short memories will argue that Tiger Roar is an out-and-out sprinter.
That is part of the truth.
Sure, his last two wins were over 1,200m. But Tiger Roar is more than that.
Indeed, and even at this early point of his career, it is becoming clear to see that this four-year-old is getting better over the longer trips and Sunday’s mile will suit him just fine.
Tiger Roar is a stalker. A come-from-behind kind of runner.
Like the animal whose name he carries, he can sometimes play dead at the back of the pack.
But, just when his rivals are beginning to feel secure, he pounces.
Yes, in a race, it might be at the 200m mark or even 100m from home. But that is when he goes for the jugular and, just like that, it could be “game over”.
Expect him to do the same in the $150,000 race.
However, he is not the only “sweeper” in the 12-horse line-up.
Sure, if he so desires, Lim’s Kosciuszko will give them something to chase and the chasing pack could also have the likes of Real Efecto and Amazing Breeze.
Trained by David Kok and Jerome Tan respectively, they were among the six who went against the clock.
Oscar Chavez, fresh from steering Golden Monkey to lift the Three-Year-Old Sprint on Saturday, rode Real Efecto and they ran out the trip in 38.1sec.
On paper, the four-time winner is one of the lesser lights in the line-up and looks more “effective” over the longer distances.
But two of his four wins have been over the mile and he will take his spot in the starting gates with a solid trial under his belt.
That was just a week ago. Under Chavez, Real Efecto gave Lim’s Kosciuszko a run for the money.
He finished third – but he was just a ½-length behind the champ.
What about Amazing Breeze?
He had “double-century man” Wong Chin Chuen in the saddle for his workout and there was nothing to fault in that 600m gallop which he did in 39.8sec.
Last time in a 1,400m race, Amazing Breeze was, well, quite “amazing”. Sent off as the $21 favourite on May 21, his backers must have let out a collective groan when he was slowly away.
He was still unsighted when the field straightened. But he came home like a bullet train to justify that $21 tag. He will enjoy the added 200m.
Yes, that was a Class 4 race. But, with four-year-olds, you never can tell.
In human terms, they are like frisky 20-year-olds. Some are just maturing and, if those hormones kick in on raceday, there could be fireworks.