Sunday’s meeting is Raffles Cup day in Singapore, with 11 races on offer and the Group 1 mile for $800 000 will be the obvious highlight on the card. We have simplified things here, with ELITE INCREDIBLE appearing to be the Best Bet on the card, with KING WARRIOR the Value Bet.
Best Bet – ELITE INCREDIBLE (Race 3)
Value Bet – KING WARRIOR (Race 7)
Race 1 – 06:40
Selections: 1 – 7 – 5 – 4 – 3
A tough opener on the card and few appear to have chances, but we have sided with ATLANTIC FOX to do the business and get us off to a good start. Everything appeared to be in his favour last time, when dropping into this class and he just didn’t go on with his effort. His draw has improved here and he gets the services of Duric for this run. He’ll enjoy the slight drop in trip and if getting his mind on the job this time, should be too powerful for this field. OBSTACLES FREE has been rising in the ratings but he has been up to the task, going on his last three starts. He won over this course and distance three starts back and may have been undone by that tricky draw last time. From gate 3 today, he’ll be looking for a relatively handy rails run and looks a threat. SUPER SPEED drops into this class, having dropped 10 points in the ratings in his last five starts and he seems to be getting closer. He does have another tricky draw to overcome, but that doesn’t seem to have cost him in his last two starts and his quick gate speed can be thanked for that. The 2-pound claiming apprentice does duty today and in this lesser company on current form, he must be considered. MINGS MAN is one of the better Class 5 contenders around, over this course and distance. With the drop into this class today, he brings with him some useful recent form and from gate 2 must be included with the 3kg claimer up.
Race 2 – 07:10
Selections: 7 – 9 – 3 – 1 – 5
Another Class 5 event here, albeit over the 1200m and we have once again sided with Vlad Duric to do the business and land us another, for a quick double. He rides QIJI DIAMOND who has had just the two official outings so far and he showed solid improvement in his latest effort, when landing a useful draw. He was only beaten by 1.80 lengths in that run and he may have gone closer had it not been for the saddle shifting backwards, in-running. From another handy draw, he steps onto the Turf today and attempts the extra furlong. With plenty of scope for improvement, he looks set for a huge run and looks the likely winner here. WHERE SHE’S HAPPY is the only filly in the race, making her career debut today and going on her last trial she deserves plenty of respect. She demolished the field by 7.50 lengths in that exercise and it is no surprise to see Rodd retaining the ride here. From gate 2, she will enjoy the extra furlong and in this modest field she must have a realistic chance. ALL WE KNOW ran second on debut, when showing a smart turn of foot to chase the field down late. He was forced to check at the 150m mark back then, which would’ve cost him valuable momentum and Woodworth will be looking for an incident free finish this time. He lands another good draw and a repeat of that course and distance career opener should be more than enough to bring him into the frame. With the expected improvement however, he looks a big threat. BEER GARDEN has placed twice in his three starts so far and one of those came over this course and distance. He seemed to enjoy taking up the running over the 1000m (Poly) last time, so there is some uncertainty around employing those tactics over the extra furlong. He does however, have scope to improve and must go in.
Race 3 – 07:40
Selections: 1 – 5 – 3 – 7 – 8
ELITE INCREDIBLE looks the stand out bet on the card, as everything points towards him being the obvious winner in this event. He was Gr 1 placed in the Singapore Guineas back in May this year and he followed that effort up with a 2nd, when dropping back to this course and distance. That was in his penultimate start and a repeat of that effort should be more than enough. He’ll be firmly at the top of the boards and it will be a big surprise to see him get beat. KING ZOUSTAR dropped to this trip on the Poly last time out, when overcoming a difficult draw. He has been dropping in the ratings in each of his last few runs and he lands an improved draw this time. He’ll enjoy reverting back to the turf and rates a big threat. TIME TO ROCK has also been edging down in the ratings of late and he will be looking to capitalise on these more favourable handicapping terms. The son of Time Thief went within 1.90 lengths of the winner in his penultimate start and that came over this course and distance. He has only had the 13 starts and has featured prominently in most of them. With scope for more improvement and favourable conditions today, he gets the services of Woodworth and looks a big runner. STARDICE is far better on the Turf and he lands an improved draw for his return to the grass today. He has been finishing just off them in recent times and with 53.0kg’s to shoulder this time, he looks well positioned to feature prominently in these conditions. Moore takes the ride and he looks a definite place prospect.
Race 4 – 08:10
Selections: 9 – 10 – 5 – 2 – 8
The second Restricted Maiden on the card and a number of contenders are just getting going in their careers. As such, there is plenty of room for improvement and we have sided with the one to have shown the most promise so far. SMOKE AND MIRRORS has gone close in both starts and he drops back to the 1200m, after overcoming a wide draw last time out. In his penultimate start, he went within a length of the winner and that was over this course and distance. He gets the blinkers fitted for his third official outing and Powell takes the mount this time. With further scope, he looks tough to beat here. For second place, we’ve opted for the son of Reward For Effort – SUPERMAX. He has just had the one start so far, a little over a month ago when finishing second over the course and distance. He was bumped at the start in that run, before being forced to race wide and he’ll be looking for an incident free passage today. Woodworth knows him well, having stuck with him through all of his trials as well and from gate 4 he looks the biggest threat to the top selection. LIBRAN SON has his second outing today after placing within 1.60 lengths of the winner, over the course and distance on debut. He surprised many on that occasion and would’ve benefitted immensely from the experience. With plenty of scope and Collett retaining, he should be right there in the finish. ATLAS has the blinkers fitted for his debut run today and Rodd retains after useful barrier last time. The son of Atlante has a useful draw to overcome and will be looking to make a positive impression in this tricky Maiden. If things go his way, he could shape nicely but it’s best to monitor the betting boards for an indication of what the stable think about his chances.
Race 5 – 08:40
Selections: 2 – 1 – 8 – 6 – 4
The 7- year old Fastnet Rock gelding – LOYALTY MAN, is the pick to win the 5th race on the card. He has only had the three starts in Hong Kong, but he has a decent record in Australia over this trip. He drops in class after a 5,3-length beating in Gr 3 company last time and that was over the course and distance. Fitted with the visor and cheek pieces this time, Vlad Duric gets takes the ride and he looks the likely winner here. Top weight NEPEAN is a 4-time winner from 13 starts and lands a decent draw after finding a few rough ones in his last three starts. He’s been knocking on the door in his last two, since dropping into this class and from his expected early hold on the race from up front, he’ll be a tough candidate to get past. For 3rd, we have landed on REAL SUCCESS. He’s landed two wins from three starts and looks a progressive sort. He does step up in class today, but has a very handy galloping weight for his first attempt at the mile. From a useful draw, he’ll be saving his best for last and his followers can expect to see him closing in fast. He’s not without a chance. YABADABADOO looks the dark horse in the race. He’s been relatively consistent of late and he can be forgiven for a modest effort last time out, when landing another wide draw. He has a good turn of foot, so from another wide draw he’ll be running on late over the extra furlong and with a bit of luck in running he has the ability to run a big race in this class.
Race 6 – 09:10
Selections: 3 – 5 – 4 – 2 – 9
LIMITED EDITION has finally landed a draw after jumping from a wide berth in both starts so far. He showed an eye-catching turn of foot in his debut effort, when launching his challenge from a long way back, to go down a length and a half in 2nd. A disappointing effort to follow up, but the pace didn’t really suit and he’ll enjoy the drop back to the 6th furlongs this time. Nunes takes the mount this time and he looks a strong contender for the winner’s box. GRAND CHOICE has an ultra-consistent record of late and it’s hard to imagine him not being involved in the finish, from a good draw. Woodworth retains the ride and he looks progressive enough to take the step up in class in his stride. EASTIGER returns after that bleeding attack last time out, which would explain his poor performance. He has trialled well with Rodd up since and he retains the ride after that positive return. From an ideal draw the signs are there of a form return and, on that basis, he’ll need to be considered. SILENT FORCE has put in two good performances over the course and distance in his last two starts, finishing second on both occasions and both of those runs came over this course and distance. He jumps from gate two again and on his current form in this class, will have to be included.
Race 7 – 09:40
Selections: 9 – 12 – 8 – 14 – 13
A tough race to analyse, but we have sided with KING WARRIOR to win the 7th. He was a little disappointing last time out, when dropping to a 1200m and it was clear that he battled to stay with the early speed. Back up to a 1400m and he returns to the Turf where he went close in his penultimate start. That was over the course and distance and after finding wide barriers in his last 5, he finally finds a good draw and that brings him right into the equation. MIRACLE TIME finished just behind the top selection last time out, having finished two lengths back in 2nd. That may be a flattering margin for the winner on that occasion, considering the latter had to be switched out after being held up from the 400m-200m. He too hasn’t had much luck with the draws of late and lands another tough one here, but Vlad Duric sticks with the mount and with more luck in running this time, he’ll go close. PISCA PISCA is a filly taking on the boys and reverts back into Class 5 company here. She has been dropping in the ratings and appears to be going in the right direction form wise. She may have gone closer last time out, when taking a bump just after the 1100m before becoming unbalanced. With an incident free outing today, she’ll be in the late charge for the line. ZAHIR has gate 15 to negotiate and at first glance that looks an impossible draw to overcome. He does however, have a useful turn of foot and from off the early pace he’ll be looking to employ that asset late. He had excuses in his last start, when he was reported to be not striding out. Post-race, he was declared lame. He has been in consistent form prior to that and if recapturing that form, can feature here.
Race 8 – 10:15
Selections: 4 – 11 – 1 – 5 – 8
MR DUJARDIN will be out to redeem himself after that disappointing last start. The son of High Chaparral was examined after that run and the vet reported him to be lame in his off-fore, so he can be forgiven. He has featured prominently over this course and distance and looks set to relish stepping back up to this trip today, if over those issues he found in his last start. He has had two trials since, so fitness won’t be a factor and with Rodd up today, he looks the one to beat. ACE HARBOUR has been in good form of late and he went close over this course and distance in his penultimate start, when rising up to this class. He followed that up with a decent effort over the 1800m Poly and on that run, he appears to have the 12 and 13 held. From another useful draw, he can go very close on his best form and must be respected. The top weight MAJESTIC EMPRESS has been competing against stronger opposition, but drops down in class for this run. She has featured prominently in her last two starts on the poly and on her course and distance effort three starts back, looks a big danger here. She will have to overcome a wide draw here, but with a bit of luck in running she should have the ability to go very close and must be included. CENTURION steps up to this trip for the first time in his career, but he has been in useful form over slightly shorter. He wasn’t disgraced in Class 3 company over 1800m on the Turf, three starts back and will be looking to build on that effort. He lands a useful draw and if seeing out the trip, should go close.
Race 9 – 10:45
Selections: 2 – 3 – 1 – 6 – 7
ELISE has been in solid recent form and from gate 7, he will be looking to take up the early running and set himself up for a strong late challenge. He put up a useful effort in Class 3 company two starts back and that run came over this course and distance. Having followed that up with a solid second on the Poly, he reverts back to the Turf and Benny Woodworth retains the ride. His speed will be the dominant factor here and if able to dictate things on his own accord, it is unlikely that he will get beaten today. YULONG EXPRESS is only just getting going here, with this being his 8th start. He boxed on well in his last start on the poly, when rising to this class and he will have plenty more to come. His penultimate start is the key to his recent form and that came over this course and distance. He was a 2.30 length winner on that occasion, albeit in restricted company, but that was an impressive win and a repeat of that run will cause a few problems for some. Drawn 2, he looks a big factor here. ELITE SILVERGHOST has his Singapore debut today, but he brings with him a decent Argentinian record having won three times over there. He has trialled well since then and looks set for a promising debut, although the 60.0kg top weight does create some uncertainty. VULCAN was an indifferent performer last time out, when having every chance to put in a big claim for the winner’s box and not going on with it. That was the first time he has missed the first three in his five attempts and the drop back to 1200m may be a positive ingredient for a much-improved performance here. Prior to that last run, he put forward two solid efforts to run third in this class and if building on that form, will be right there.
Race 10 – 11:20
Selections: 4 – 11 – 16 – 1 – 9
The big race of this weekend is the Raffles Cup Gr1 and it appears to be intriguing affair that should present a lot of global interest. We have sided with COUNTOFMONTECRISTO to land the big one and here’s why. He is a tough sort from the Clements yard and he brings with him an impeccable record of 8 wins from just the 23 starts. He hasn’t quite landed a draw in recent outings, but has still managed to be in the frame and that shows his class. His luck appears to have changed in that department and he finds himself jumping from gate 5 this time. He’s a proven Gr 1 weight-for-age contender and it’s going to take a good horse to beat him today. MR CLINT is an interesting contender and he too hasn’t had much luck with draws of late. Like the top selection, his luck has changed this time and he has been rewarded with gate 2 to launch his challenge from today. He showed an impressive turn of foot last time out in Gr 1 company, when flashing home late for an eye-catching 2nd in yielding going. That was over 1800m and he will enjoy the added pace that this drop in trip will provide. He is certainly not out of his depth in this company and looks a big threat to the top selection. WHAT’S NEW takes on the boys and she has really peaked of late. The 6-time winning mare won the first two legs of the Singapore 4-Year-Old challenge, when adding the Silver Bowl and Stewards Cup to her list of accolades. Michael Rodd has spotted her potential to win a race like this and he has opted for the ride this time. With an improved draw, she’ll be a factor in the finish. TRUSON is the top weight here and with that latest Gr1 win over this trip, it’s not hard to see why he is racing off a rating of 126. On that, he looks to be the best weighted in this race and deserves to be respected. From gate 1, he gets the services of Moore today and should be worth including.
Race 11 – 11:50
Selections: 2 – 8 – 10 – 11 – 9
The last race on the card always presents a nice opportunity to end off on a high note and if following FAME STAR, that is likely to materialise. The son of Twirling Candy has been impressive in his last two starts over this trip, starting with a good win on the Turf in his penultimate start. That was followed up by another victory in his latest effort, on the Poly. The second placed horse (MURAAHIB) in that race has since come out and won a Class 3 sprint, thus confirming the strength of that form line. From pole, apprentice Kok retains the ride and he appears very hard to beat. LIM’S CRAFT comes off the back of two impressive wins in Class 4 company and he looks more than up to the task of rising to this class today. His latest victory was a 2.80 length win over the course and distance and it’s no surprise to see Benny Woodworth retain the ride. He does have a tricky draw to overcome, but when considering his impressive turn of foot, his followers shouldn’t be disheartened by the draw and he’ll be worth including. EXCELLING looks to have a nice each-way appearance about him, in these conditions. The son of Manhattan Rain steps onto the Turf today after two encouraging efforts on the Poly. He didn’t doo too much wrong last time out, when rising into this class and with Duric doing duty today, he looks a threat. From gate 9, he will be looking to utilise his good early speed and should look to mount his challenge from the front. SIAM BLUE VANDA has a useful record to his name, having featured prominently in Group company in his last three. He does return from a 4-month break, but the two trials since then would’ve sharpened him up for this. He has the ability to feature here and must be considered.