Al-Arabiya can win with Farees
On the day, River Golden proved too good. But Farees, though beaten two-and-half-lengths, ran a mighty race to take second spot and, for him, there's only one way to go — and that is up.
Trained by Shane Baertschiger, Farees served notice of his intentions to put right what went wrong last time out with an impressive workout yesterday morning.
Ridden by John Powell and, in the company of another potential moneyspinner for the same yard, Most Favorite, Farees clocked 37.7sec for the 600m.
Down to contest a Class 4 sprint over 1,400m on Friday night, Farees certainly looked liked he had improved from that last run on Feb 23.
That day, when installed favourite in a Class 4 affair over the shorter 1,200m, Farees held a spot just off midfield and only made his move 200m out.
Alas, by then River Golden had the jump on him and that momentum carried River Golden to a good win. As for Farees, he held on for that second spot, putting daylight between himself and thirdplaced runner Special Rain.
Farees' only success in nine outings came in July when he ran a more forward race than last time out to beat a good Open maiden field over the 1,200m on the Poly. John Powell was on the reins.
It would have been ample compensation for his owners, the Al-Arabiya Stable.
After all, thrice before they had to witness their runner play bridesmaid in races he could have won.
As for his galloping partner, Most Favorite, the 1,100m trip which he has to cover on Friday looks right up his alley.
A winner on debut on Jan 21 when he beat Wild Bee in a sprint over the 1,100m, Most Favorite has trained on since finishing sixth in his last start.
That day last month, he didn't get any favours when, after beginning awkwardly, he ran into traffic problems and, to add to his misery, was bumped by another runner close home.
By O'Reilly, Most Favorite won a trial before his debut run - taking it by almost a length and a half and in 60.93sec.
Himself a three-year-old, he meets some talented youngsters on Friday, among them is that last-start winner Lim's Hunter. However, Baertschiger has got him ticking and it wouldn't surprise if Most Favorite adds another feather in his cap by making it two wins from three starts.
In the Committee's Prize on Sunday, keep an eye on Forever Young. The multiple winner looked in good order in his hitout, clocking 39.3sec for the 600m.
A brilliant frontrunner, he gets into the feature race with just 51kg on his back. It is a luxurious weight for the CT Kuahtrained runner who, in his last start over the 1,400m, carried 56.5kg. He was eventually run down by Clarton Super.
He will be better suited to the mile which he has to run on Sunday and, with some luck, it could be a big payday for his connections.