Clements shows off five aces
Leading trainer sends Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint quintet for spins on the training track
You don't get to lead the trainers' championship without a load of aces in your hand. So, take a bow, Michael Clements.
You are where you are - at the top of the pack - because you have some good ones in the yard. With them, you have been churning out winners.
Like that double last Saturday.
Clements trots into Sunday's action with a talented team of 13 runners and five of them have been entered for the highly-competitive Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint. The Group 3 feature is over 1,200m on grass.
Between them, the ferocious five have won a total of 15 races - with Tiger Roar heading the cast with four victories from eight starts.
As if they were parading on the red carpet before the big show, all five were on the training track yesterday morning. They weren't showing off, so to speak. But all were in excellent order.
A gelding who normally weighs in at around the 500kg mark, Tiger Roar didn't put a hoof wrong when running the 600m spin in 37.4sec.
The horse who will carry the No. 1 saddlecloth as the highest rated in the big race had Louis-Philippe Beuzelin in the saddle.
The remaining four of Clements' runners were equally impressive.
Prosperous Return, gunning for a four-timer, clocked 38.1sec, while the very-talented Ablest Ascend did two gallops, clocking 45.1sec initially before turning on the turbo to run the second 600m in 36sec.
Tuesday, owned by the Falcon Racing No. 7 Stable, showed good speed, covering the trip in 35.9sec.
Then there was Starlight. He ran out the 600m in 38.1sec. Shafrizal Saleh did the steering.
So the $110,000 question. From this quintet, who has the best chance of lifting the prize?
As it appears right now, public sentiment will put Tiger Roar on top. But the 1,200m might prove a tad too sharp for the Australian-bred, whose four wins have been over 1,400m and 1,800m.
Then again, if his bite is as good as his roar, he could break new ground and win over 1,200m.
Prosperous Return has won twice over 1,400m but his victory over Asgard Massif over the 1,200m in March was full of merit.
He found betting shop support in all of his three victories and they will surely rally behind him on Sunday.
Ablest Ascend is being groomed for bigger and better things and his front-running style could have his rivals chasing him for a long, long while.
He knows what it is like to be on the big stage, having been there when fourth to Boomba in the Group 3 Singapore Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m last December.
Last time out, some three weeks ago, punters sent him off as the $14 top pick - and he justified that confidence with an all-the-way win over 1,200m.
Then there's Tuesday and Starlight. Both have not won since early in the season. But they are not off the game, so don't rule them out.
As for Clements, he is where he is on the leaderboard because he is doing more right than wrong. So, don't discount any of the five. They're all good to go.