Foolish to discard Pennywise
Le Grange's sprinter could run a bold race over the mile in the Group 3 Colonial Chief Stakes
Fresh from a 1,000m trial which he won easily in a time of 61.8sec, Pennywise continued to hold form on the training track yesterday morning.
Ridden by the champ, Vlad Duric, Pennywise easily disposed of the 600m in a nice and neat 35.9sec.
He did that after a spot of cantering. Thereafter, he picked up a stablemate, gave him a couple of lengths headstart before easily drawing level at the top of the straight.
His work done, he dropped anchor.
It was a good workout, a sort of "loosening up" before Sunday's Colonial Chief Stakes wraps up the season's action.
Pennywise is one of many in-form horses entered for the year-end $175,000 feature to be run over the 1,600m on the Polytrack.
And he does get into the race on the back of some really good runs which, I reckon will serve to top him up sufficiently for the task ahead.
From Ricardo Le Grange's yard of quality horseflesh, Pennywise's last outing produced a fourth-placed finish.
There were no excuses. Sent off as the $24 third pick in that classy 12-horse race run over the 1,200m on the alternate surface, he was doing his best work in the closing stages.
Will that translate into an improved show over the longer 1,600m he must tackle on Sunday?
It will be interesting. After all, Pennywise has gone over the mile just once before in his 17-start career - and that didn't end too well.
That was in the $800,000 Singapore Guineas and he never got to throw in a punch, starting well but fading just as quickly to finish with the also-rans.
But that was on grass and we all know that Pennywise needs the turf like a fish needs a PMD.
So forget that run. Come Sunday, he will be on his favourite surface. And, with yesterday's good workout under his girth, he could be the one coming from the pack to swamp his rivals.
Another one who will enjoy the Polytrack on Sunday could be You Rokk.
With JP van der Merwe on the reins yesterday morning, he did nothing wrong when running the 600m in 36.8sec.
From Lee Freedman's yard, You Rokk is already a Kranji winner, having opened his account with a smart win on Nov 3.
Incidentally, Pennywise was among those he beat out of sight that day. Others who ate his dust were Kranji "heavyweights" like stablemate Muraahib, Augustano and Nowyousee.
That day, You Rokk paid a super-duper $224 for the win.
Don't expect another three-figure payday on Sunday.
It's a Class 1 race and You Rokk lines up with the creme de la creme. But he's a big, hefty, matured six-year-old.
We haven't seen enough of him to cast judgment but he's definitely a work in progress and since he seems to be holding form, you never know.
On the last day of the racing season, he could be first home - which will be an early Christmas present for his connections.