Basilisk works with gusto
Trainer Leslie Khoo's vastly improved galloper looks set for another victory on Friday night
Basilisk, one of the most improved horses at Kranji, looks ready to greet the judge again on Friday night.
The Leslie Khoo-trained five-year-old showed his winning intentions with a brilliant hit-out yesterday morning.
Giving a stablemate some headstart, the bay New Zealand-bred gelding picked up nicely to overtake his stablemate and clock 37.1sec for 600m on the Polytrack.
Basilisk finished so full of running that his rider allowed his mount to carry on cruising until deep into the backstraight.
Basilisk pulled up very well. He looked a ball of muscle as he trotted back into the tunnel leading to the stable blocks.
Basilisk, struggled a while before coming right again at the start of his Kranji career.
He scored first success at his eighth start, in a Restricted Maiden affair, after securing three seconds and a third.
He struggled after that, although he popped in for a few more placings. Then the turnaround came and it was onward and upward for the Tan Le En-owned galloper.
It was on that Aug 16 meeting that made the day for both horse and rider. Basilisk won and gave apprentice jockey Joseph See his first winner after resuming from a long layoff as a result of a disqualification.
See rode a well-judged race, bringing Basilisk storming home to take a Class 5 event over 1,400m by two easy lengths from Born To Win.
Promoted to Class 4 in his next race on Sept 15, the Basilisk-See combination nearly scored a back-to-back double.
See brought Basilisk home with his customary brilliant finish, but Sacred Don was safely home by less than 1/2 length. It was over the Polytrack 1,200m.
Back to the 1,400m on turf with jockey Benny Woodworth astride on Oct 6, Basilisk made amends. He beat Silver Sky by half a length in 1min 22.25sec.
Then at his last start on Oct 25, also with Woodworth aboard, he came charging home from way back to beat all but Siam Blue Vanda by 13/4 lengths. The winner clocked 1:22.49sec for the 1,400m on turf.
Judging by his spirited gallop yesterday morning, Basilisk looks set to return to the winner's circle in Friday night's Class 4(1) event over 1,400m.
Gentlemen Agreement was the other star worker yesterday.
The Shane Baertschiger-trained five-year-old looked flashy when he galloped over 600m in 36.7sec with From The Navy for company.
Jockey Ben Thompson was astride Gentlemen Agreement, while Matthew Kellady was aboard the stablemate.
Last week, I highlighted Gentlemen Agreement as a horse to watch for his next race should he not get a start as the emergency acceptor.
The horse had won his trial and had worked exceptionnaly well. But there was no scratching, so he failed to secure a run in that assignment over 1,200m.
He is handicapped in Friday's Class 4(2) event and the 1,400m is more his cup of tea.