Augustano can lead all the way
Champion trainer Lee Freedman's last-start winner has the form to make it a running double in Sunday's Race 8
Last-start winner Augustano has shown in his trial and trackwork that a running double is well within his grasp in Race 8 at Kranji on Sunday.
Trained by newly crowned Singapore champion Lee Freedman, the four-year-old was eye-catching in his trial last week. He was kept on a tight leash by apprentice jockey R Iskandar to follow Pennywise. But the horse was so full of running that he overtook Pennywise at the 600m mark. Pennywise came back under hard riding in the final bit to beat Augustano by ¾ lengths.
Augustano has picked up plenty from that trial. He showed that when he did a spirited gallop on Wednesday morning with Iskandar astride.
It is interesting to see that Freedman has nominated apprentice I Amirul on the horse. Amirul galloped his master Stephen Gray's last-start winner Darc Bounty but will hop aboard Augustano instead. Gray, on the other hand, is using 4kg claimer F Yusoff on Darc Bounty. Amirul can claim only 2kg.
The other positive factor is that Augustano is drawn well in gate 4, while Darc Bounty will jump from the outer-most barrier (No. 12).
Both Augustano and Darc Bounty have won five races each, but my vote goes to Augustano. I have been impressed by both his trial and final gallop.