Football

SI SAGE gets a feel of Kranji

First "international" arrival SI SAGE came out for his first appearance at Kranji at 5am on Tuesday morning, with race-jockey David Flores happy with the way he took everything in his stride.

Breaking the quietness of the still sleepy grounds (trackwork for the locals only begins at 6am) with the soft thuds of his hooves, the French-bred four-year-old by Sageburg cut a lonesome figure as he jogged solo over one lap of the main course proper, taking in his new surroundings with little fuss.

Flores then pulled him up down the backstraight before walking him back to the international barn, where groom Paulina Cano was waiting to give him a hose-down and a nice breakfast.

The Kranji-based Flores, partnered the Singapore Airlines International Cup contender once, coincidentally on his last day of riding in the United States before catching a Singapore-bound flight from Los Angeles last Boxing Day, finishing third in the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes (1,600m) at Santa Anita. Flores said the entire was a seasoned traveller who has quickly settled in at Kranji since his arrival on Sunday morning.

"He seems very familiar with the new place. I'm not surprised as he has trained in Europe and is used to big centres like this one," said the Mexican-born rider.

"He didn't lose any weight after his long flight, is eating well and is in good shape. He seems to have adapted well to Track 1 (turf track), his strides were good and he took a good look around.

"We walked first before taking off from the backstraight at a canter and just went for a jog over one lap."

Flores said he would continue to ride Si Sage at trackwork every day and wait for trainer Darrell Vienna's assistant-trainer brother Christopher to give further instructions on his training programme when he arrives today.