Racing

Mr Dujardin takes aim at the $1m Guineas

Trainer Lee Freedman will keep rising stayer fresh for 3YO Group 1 showpiece

Mr Dujardin will now be aimed at the $1 million Group 1 Singapore Guineas over 1,600m at Kranji on May 26.

His trainer, Lee Freedman, would not pass the final leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, following the New Zealand-bred's sterling victory over 2,000m on Friday night.

Being the staying type, the first two legs of the series over 1,200m and 1,400m would be a little sharp for the Oscar Racing Stable-owned galloper.

Freedman, an Australian Hall of Famer, will freshen up Mr Dujardin and run him first-up in the Guineas.

"I really liked the way he burst through. He is a very impressive horse," said Freedman, the man who has put the bridle on a long list of world-class horses over the years, including five Melbourne Cups.

"I will give him a freshen-up and run him first-up in the Guineas. We know he has a turn of foot."

Right from Mr Dujardin's last-to-first debut win in a mile race on Jan 14, Freedman had always pigeon-holed the bay gelding as a promising stayer in the making.

The son of High Chaparral may have beaten only a Class 4 Non Premier field on Friday, but the way he sliced through his rivals on his way towards a soft win certainly entitles his connections to take aim at much loftier targets.

The Guineas will be staged together with the new-look invitational $1.5 million Group 1 Kranji Mile over 1,600m and the $1 million Group 1 Lion City Cup over 1,200m as part of a glamour dress rehearsal to next year's intended return of International races.

Winning jockey Michael Rodd reckoned the Guineas would be a good race short term for Mr Dujardin, with the Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup in November as the longer-term target.

Rodd put the $9 favourite to sleep one off the rails early, settling in midfield before ever so slightly improving from the 800m mark.

Turning for home, the joint leaders Sun Empire and Mr Hopkins swiftly called it a night, with Rich Beauty the first from the chasing pack to pounce.

The vastly improved Daliapour mare had, however, not reckoned with the machine that did get jammed up between runners for a while after cornering, but whose afterburners had not been flicked on yet.

Once Mr Dujardin found the crack in the wall, the race was all over in a heartbeat.

Unleashing sizzling sectionals of 22.93sec inside the last 400m, the gelding had the race shot to pieces as he bounded away to a two-and-a-quarter-length win from Rich Beauty.

The winning time was 2min 2.41sec for the 2,000m on the short course.

"He could be a Gold Cup horse with time. Short term, the Guineas is also a good race for him as it will be run on the long course, which will suit him," said Rodd.

HORSE RACING