EMPEROR MAX'S REIGN LOOKS SET TO CONTINUE
With a hat-trick of wins already in the bag, EMPEROR MAX showed definite promise of more to come when he won his trial with plenty of authority at Kranji yesterday morning.
With regular rider Lisa Allpress on the reins, Emperor Max strode over the 1,000m in style and crossed the line looking fresh and full of fight.
The four-year-old from Stephen Gray's yard has been a revelation since he won on debut last October.
That day, when toting 56kg on his back and jumping from an outside gate, Emperor Max toyed with the opposition and went on to win by one and a half lengths on the Polytrack.
A month later, and on the turf, he made it a double beating Rite Of Spring over the 1,200m and in a smart time of 1:09.6sec.
By now, the punters had caught on and, in his third start on Dec 13, they packed him off as the $11 first favourite. He duly obliged, romping home with almost a length to spare.
Emperor Max has yet to make an appearance on the racetrack this season but, when he does, you can bet he will take some beating.
Yesterday's trial results and comments:
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Victory Achiever (C Brown)
2 Global Focus (R Lim)
3 Top Of The Town (L Allpress)
4 Mighty Astroboy (M Zaki)
5 It's Done Mate (R Hasri)
Margins and time: 6, nk, 3½, 2½ (1min 00.93sec).
Victory Achiever jumped best and soon led from Top Of The Town. Next came Mighty Astroboy and Golden Focus. He's Done Mate, who was slow out of the gates, was last.
It was Victory Achiever a narrow leader when they cleared the 600m. Top Of The Town kept him busy. They dropped off Global Focus and the rest.
With the finish in sight, Corey Brown got Victory Achiever to dig in and the three-year-old pulled away from the rest to score a nice win.
TRIAL 2 (ORT)
1 Super Big (D Flores)
2 Himalaya Dragon (S John)
3 Rise 'N' Shine (M Nunes)
4 Absolutely (A Munro)
Margins and time: Nk, 2, shd (1:02.72).
Absolutely was slow to move. Super Big was first to hit his stride and he led from Himalaya Dragon. Rise N Shine made it awkward for his rider and dropped back, allowing Absolutely to get into the act.
Himalaya Dragon led as they cleared the 600m. The filly was a half length in front of Super Big. Absolutely and Rise N Shine - now beginning to race - crept up on the inside.
With 150m to travel, Super Big came on again and got the upper hand. He beat Himalaya Dragon but the rest weren't disgraced.
TRIAL 3 (TEST)
1 Military Tactic (Nunes)
2 Black Snow (E Aslam)
3 Ninetysix Champ (K A'Isisuhairi)
4 State General
5 Good Mummy (K Yazid)
6 Sacred General (S Noh)
7 November Success (WS Chan)
Margins and time: ¾, nk, 1½, 2¼, 7¾, ¾ (1:01.20).
November Success crept out of the gates and dropped back last. Black Snow, Good Money and State General disputed the early lead. Left in their wake were Military Tactic and Ninetysix Champ.
It was a tight go at the 600m. State General led from Black Snow and Good Money. That was how they straightened. Military Tactic picked up speed, as did Ninetysix Champ.
In that rush to the line, Military Tactic beat Black Snow to score a nice win. A good run by the winner.
TRIAL 4 (PRACTICE)
1 Stepitup (I Santana)
2 Yin Xin (D Beasley)
3 Savannah Dancer (Nunes)
4 Super Kenny (B Vorster)
5 Sir Lovesalot (Brown)
6 Awakened (M Ewe)
7 Our River Dancer (R Shafiq)
8 Cannon Hill (Noh)
Margins and time: Ns, nk, 1½, 1¼, 3½, 1¼, 3¼ (1:00.46).
Hard ridden by Danny Beasley, Yin Xin was quickly in control of things. Trying to keep up were Sir Lovesalot, Super Kenny, and the two "dancers" Savannah and River. Stepitup was content to watch the battle in front. He stayed in second-last as they neared the 600m.
As the field angled out for that run home, Yin Xin continued to lead from Sir Lovesalot and Super Kenny. Next came Savannah Dancer, Awakened, shook up, came into the picture. Stepitup loomed on the extreme outside. In a tight finish, Stepitup just held on to snuff out Yin Xin. Stepitup was doing his best work in the closing stages of the trial. Savannah Dancer took third.
TRIAL 5 (PRACTICE)
1 Arowana Dot Com (Flores)
2 Tiger Bee (Beasley)
3 Congo Zandor (Rehaizat)
4 Funca (Vorster)
5 Sugar Man (H Amin)
6 Born To Fly (Y Ruzaili)
7 Super Strike
Margins and time: 1¾, 1¼, nk, ¾, ¾, 1¼, 2½ (1:00.29).
A tight go for the early lead. Sugar Man, Tiger Bee, Super Strike, Arowana Dot Com and Congo Zandor tussled for the role of pacesetter. As they made the turn on the far side and headed for the 600m marker, Arowana Dot Com had the lead. Sugar Man and Tiger Bee were locked together, about a length in arrears. Funca, Congo Zandor and Pitstop weren't too far away.
With 200m to go, Arowana Dot Com's momentum carried him to victory. Tiger Bee held on for a gallant second but Congo Zandor - although third - would have gone into many notebooks for his smart trial.
TRIAL 6 (PRACTICE)
1 Emperor Max (Allpress)
2 Genuine Bargain (Z Zuriman)
3 Gold Line (Vorster)
4 Warisan (Santana)
5 Mexborough Boy (Beasley)
6 Bidabull (Shafiq)
7 Stylish Lad (V Leal)
Margins and time: ½, 1¼, ¾, nk, nk, 7¼ (1:02.06).
A good jump but Genuine Bargian soon took control of things and led from Emperor Max, the mount of Lisa Allpress. Warisan made a forward move to hold third - just ahead of Gold Line, Bidabull, Stylish Lad.
Genuine Bargain, still on the bit, led them into the straight. Emperor Max didn't let him get away and was kept at his withers. Warisan was next with Stylish Lad and Bidabull making it tight. With 150m to go. Emperor Max - under a good hold by Allpress - wrested the lead and went on to win with plenty in the tank. An outstanding trial by the winner.
TRIAL 7 (PRACTICE)
1 Adrenaline (Brown)
2 King Of Koon (R Lim)
3 Mission (Vorster)
4 Super Lucky Power (WH Lao)
Margins and time: 1¾, 3½, 8¾ (1:01.73).
Mission and Adrenaline jumped best and were locked together after they had travelled 150m. Next came King Of Koon and Super Lucky Power. It was tight when they negotiated the bend on the far side, Super Lucky Power hustled Mission on his inside and showed the way to the 600m. King Of Koon was a close third with Adrenaline well into it.
It was a great race when they straightened. The four were almost in a line but they quickly sorted themselves out and Adrenaline took command. He coasted in a good winner from King Of Koon. Mission was a long third.
KRANJI BARRIER TRIALS