Maximus makes light of top weight
Trainer Alwin Tan eyeing the $500,000 Chairman's Trophy and $1.5 million Kranji Mile with his improving US-bred
They say weight can stop a train, but it certainly did not on the ever-improving Maximus at Kranji yesterday.
Despite humping top weight of 58.5kg after apprentice jockey Troy See's 1kg allowance, the five-year-old American-bred scored an incredulous victory in the $100,000 Kranji Stakes B event over the Polytrack 1,600m in Race 6.
With his sixth success from 12 starts, trainer Alwin Tan has set lofty targets for the IB Racing Stable-owned galloper - the $500,000 Group 2 Chairman's Trophy over 1,600m on April 27 as well as the $1.5 million Group 1 Kranji Mile on May 26.
The Singapore Turf Club has made the Kranji Mile an invitational race by including four international horses to kick-start the return of a $3 million international showpiece next year.
"He keeps surprising me. From a short distance and now he looks like a stayer," said Tan.
"In fact, I've discussed with the owners to run him in the Chairman's Trophy and I've also nominated him for the Kranji Mile."
Maximus scored his first three wins over the Poly 1,100m and the last three over the Poly 1,600m - all with See astride.
He keeps surprising me. From a short distance and now he looks like a stayer. In fact, I’ve discussed with the owners to run him in the Chairman’s Trophy and I’ve also nominated him for the Kranji Mile.Trainer Alwin Tan on Maximus
There's no doubt Maximus is a Polytrack specialist and both the Chairman's Trophy and Kranji Mile are on turf, but the chestnut gelding should have no problem handling the grass.
He nearly succeeded on the surface three starts back, when he was just pipped by the narrowest of margins by Black Swan over the 1,600m trip.
Maximus was drawn widest of nine runners yesterday, but See managed to cross in beautifully to lead without having spent too much petrol on the $14 second favourite.
Maximus led into the backstretch by two lengths from Lim's Shot, who was carrying only 53kg after apprentice jockey Noh Senari's 2kg claim.
Kings Ryker and the Leslie Khoo-trained $13 favourite Yulong Xiong Hu were just half a length away, followed two lengths behind by Julius Caesar, Kirks Ryker and Hidden Promise in a bunch.
Lim's Shot and Kings Ryker came up to half-a-length of Maximus at the halfway stage. Yulong Xiong Hu was fourth, a length adrift.
Maximus led into the straight from Lim's Shot, who soon crumbled and dropped out of contention. Jockey Benny Woodworth brought Yulong Xiong Hu up with a nice run but See had stolen the race with a big breakaway on Maximus.
Keeping up a bright gallop, Maximus went on to the line by three lengths of Yulong Xiong Hu despite conceding 6.5kg to the runner-up.
The winning time of 1min 39.37sec was inside the standard time of 1min 39.44sec.
"He really put his best foot forward today, " said See, who also scored on the Leticia Dragon-trained Muscular Captain in Race 4.
"Carrying that sort of weight, it just goes to show that he has got so much heart in him.
"The way he ran, it didn't look like he was carrying 59.5kg, so a big credit to the horse. He has got so much heart."
On his thoughts of the two lofty dreams, the leading rookie said: "This I wouldn't know. You've got to ask the trainer that. I'm looking forward to stay on top of him, for sure."