Extra distance will test Battle Of Troy

Trainer Koh says the trip will stretch him to the max

Trainer Desmond Koh is hopeful Battle Of Troy will see out tomorrow's 1,700m in Race 5.

This will be a step-up in distance for the last-start winner. Having already saluted the judge three times, all those victories were over the shorter 1,400m.

Koh said the original idea of thinking out the box was actually around the surface, not so much the distance.

"I wanted to try an alternative surface for him. He ran over Polytrack only once and actually ran on quite well (third), but that was at his first run and it was so long ago," said the Singaporean handler.

"Unfortunately, we don't have any races over 1,400m on the Polytrack and the next race over 1,200m was too far away."

Then along came tomorrow's 1,700m event.

"He's never gone beyond 1,600m here or in Australia. The 1,700m will stretch him to the max, but I thought there was no harm testing him."

As for his choice of rider, Koh is sticking with Battle Of Troy's last-start winning partner, champion apprentice jockey Wong Chin Chuen who is three wins clear of Zawari Razali in the fight for back-to-back titles.

The Malaysian rider summed up the race to a tee with the Flying Spur five-year-old at his last start in a Kranji Stakes C race over 1,400m on Oct 1, beating a wide gate to secure the lead before going the whole distance.

Koh was pleased with that win especially since it had been a long time between drinks for Battle Of Troy (last win was in November 2016 in a BM67 race when also ridden by Wong).

"Battle Of Troy won a nice race at his last start, but it's taken a while for him to win again," he said.

"We were expecting more from him, to be honest, but let's hope that last win has boosted his confidence. He definitely has ability."