Time has come for Italian Revolution
After three near-misses, Baertschiger’s 3YO shows signs of breakthrough victory
So, Tuesday was gazetted as a public holiday and regular folk slept in late, had brunch and, generally, took it easy.
Yes, that was what the “regular folk” did.
But, up in the north of the country, at and around Kranji, it was a different kind of “regular day for the regular folk”.
No lying in bed under cosy covers as the rain pelted the land. No leisurely breakfast.
There was work to do and, like soldiers in a cavalry, men and horses were up at dawn doing their everyday chores.
As were the diehards in the otherwise ghostly empty stands.
Even with the handicaps for Saturday’s races would be released only on Tuesday evening, they turned up at dawn to watch our equine beauties being put through their paces.
Plenty of them, despite it being a public holiday.
They saw the pair of James Peters’ runners, Healthy Star and Endless, match strides over the 600m in 37.1sec.
Partnered by Krisna Thangamani and Benny Woodworth respectively, they caught the eye.
Endless was a winner two starts back when claiming a 1,700m race with Krisna in the saddle.
He is engaged in Saturday’s Class 5 event over the Polytrack 1,200m.
As for Healthy Star, his last few runs have not inspired confidence but it was around this time in 2022 – Feb 2 – that he put together a winning show.
He runs in the Class 5 Polytrack 1,100m event and you may want to have a small wager on him. He is long overdue for a win.
Then there was Sun Palace, who is running in the same race as Endless.
Trained by Desmond Koh, who saddled his 600th milestone success on Monday, the handsome bay worked like he meant business, clocking 38.6sec for the trip.
Up in the saddle was Kranji’s champion jockey Manoel Nunes.
After sitting quiet for the first two meetings of the year, Koh flexed his muscles on Monday, saddling a double from a team of just five runners.
And they were good winners, too, with Exceed Natural and Flying Nemo.
Now that he has hit the ground running, more can be expected from his yard and Sun Palace is one of them who looks ripe and ready.
Not to be shortchanged, the faithful in the stands were treated to a duel in the drizzle.
It was between Italian Revolution and newcomer Ten Ha. And it was one of the star workouts of the morning.
From the Shane Baertschiger yard, Italian Revolution had the services of Matthew Kellady, while Ten Ha was piloted by comeback kid Mohd Zaki.
The pair eventually covered the distance in 37.5sec.
Credit to the newcomer Ten Ha, who gave Italian Revolution a couple of lengths’ headstart, but drew level at the finish.
A New Zealand-bred by Niagara, he deserves to come under notice in the Restricted Maiden Division 2 event over 1,200m on turf.
But it was all about Italian Revolution’s work.
Still a three-year-old, he has already shown signs of big things to come.
Take that debut in October.
Up against some precocious youngsters, he ran second to Flying Nemo.
That day, he attempted to lead all the way but was caught by the big-hearted pocket dynamo, who cleared away to an impressive two-length win.
Still, and all things considered, that had to be something.
After all, we now know just how good Flying Nemo has turned out to be.
A month later, Italian Revolution – then under notice by astute racegoers – again found one to beat in Sabah Ace.
That day, punters sent him out as the $23 second pick.
Then there was that last run on Jan 7.
Carrying the hopes of the grandstand, he again had to play bridesmaid, beaten by a length by Mykyta, after leading for most of the short and sharp Poly 1,100m trip.
Baertschiger has still to get his first winner for 2023.
But it is early days yet and, with a horse like Italian Revolution in his barn, he is not going to be sitting quiet for too long.
His charge is running in the Restricted Maiden Division 1 event over 1,200m on turf.
The Shane Baertschiger-trained Italian Revolution (Matthew Kellady) finishing second to the David Kok-trained Sabah Ace (Ronnie Stewart) over the Polytrack 1,100m on Nov 5, 2022.