Freedman's pair the top bets
Heliosphere hard to catch tonight and Made In Russia will be flying home on Sunday
Singapore champion trainer Lee Freedman's pair of last-start winner Heliosphere and Made In Russia are in top shape and look hard to topple.
Heliosphere has trained on. The four-year-old Australian-bred has not taken the recent season's break lightly. He was seen galloping earnestly on many mornings.
The China Horse Club-owned galloper topped it up with a splendid trial victory last week. It was a win of epic proportion.
He simply tore away when clicked up to win by four lengths in a good time of 59.82sec for the Polytrack 1,000m.
Heliosphere demonstrated his quality in his first-up win on Dec 2. Running in a Class 4 event over the Poly 1,200m, he travelled around midfield until the straight.
For a moment, it looked like the $10 favourite had a tough task with a few lengths to make up. But, when he slipped into top gear, he mowed down his rivals one by one to win by 3/4 lengths.
In last week's trial, he hounded fellow debut winner Sierra Conqueror and quickly strode ahead before the turn for home. Then he cruised away effortlessly. He is now fighting fit.
Tonight's 1,400m in Race 7 should not worry Heliosphere, who has won over 1,600m in Australia. From four other starts, he was second once and third twice over 1,200m and 1,400m.
Freedman's Made In Russia has also been thoroughly drilled during the three-week racing break for Sunday's Race 8. He ran third in the Heliosphere trial, coming home strongly.
Also owned by China Horse Club, Made In Russia won first-up over the Poly 1,200m on Aug 31 last year.
Although his subsequent two starts yielded only fourth placings, they were not bad efforts and he was not beaten far. His last-start conqueror was Nimble, who is now unbeaten in two starts.
Made In Russia also came with a nice Australian record of two wins, a second and a third from as many starts. This means he is honest and consistent.
Like Heliosphere, he did not come cheap. He cost A$225,000 (S$218,000) as a yearling. Heliosphere cost A$160,000.