Clements in ‘Classic’ control
Starharmony and Prosperous Return get full marks from training track
Don't be blinkered when you are going through the form of the runners in Sunday's Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic.
While there's an obvious standout in Tiger Roar, it would be disrespectful to simply consign the rest of the field to that heap of also-rans.
Especially horses like Prosperous Return and Starharmony.
On their day, they could be anything they want to be.
Like Tiger Roar, they too belong to that in-form stable of trainer Michael Clements.
And, as if to push home the message that they are truly in that "Classic" mould, both were out on the training track yesterday morning.
Matching strides over 600m, they covered the trip in 37.4sec.
It was a no-fuss gallop. Vlad Duric on Prosperous Return and Louis-Philippe Beuzelin on Starharmony knew exactly what to do. They did just enough to ensure their mounts had a good stretch-out.
While Starharmony is on 53 rating points, as opposed to Tiger Roar's 78, Prosperous Return sits on 69.
Both are on an upward curve and, you would be right to say we haven't seen them at their best.
Perhaps they are saving it for the big stage on Sunday.
Starharmony gets into the race as an unbeaten three-year-old. A tenacious sort who resents being challenged once he gets to the front and will fight back if headed, he could be the one leading the field to the finish.
If he gets caught, well, that's racing. But you can bet your bottom dollar, he won't make it easy for anyone - stablemate or not.
When push comes to shove, Prosperous Return will be one of those mounting a challenge to Starharmony. A dogged campaigner with three wins from five starts, Prosperous Return was charging home in the Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint over 1,200m last month.
On the day, nothing was going to rob Tiger Roar of victory. Still, Prosperous Return turned in a mighty heroic effort and his second-placed finish gave Clements the race quinella.
Owned by Tivic Stable, the son of Fighting Sun holds his form well. He put together a hat-trick early in the season and will carry that Singapore Sprint form into Sunday's $150,000 race.
Outside of the big race, there is a good horse running in Race 7 and he could be the one to help you build a "bank" for a wager on the Classic.
His name is Prodigal. Yes, he is from Clements' stable of champions.
Prodigal had Shafrizal Saleh in the saddle when running 600m in a swift 35.8sec.
A fine-looking chestnut who tips the scales in the low-500kg range, he had a torrid passage at his last start.
Slow to begin and having to steady thereafter, he had to be restrained for 150m from the 950m mark. Still there was enough in the tank to see him take fourth spot in that race won by his stablemate, Sahabat.
Prodigal takes on some precocious talents in that 1,400 Novice event, but the manner in which he disposed of 600m in his workout, it could be suicidal to ignore his chances.