Gold Cup is not a tall order for Shane
Aramaayo and Preditor - among others - impress at morning trackwork
Matthew Kellady, who gave up a winning ride on Nepean in Sunday's Group 2 EW Barker Trophy because of dehydration, was a busy man on the training track yesterday.
He was astride both of Shane Baertschiger's Singapore Gold Cup entries and it is fair to say both looked ready for Saturday's $1 million race.
Aramaayo clocked 37.5sec for 600m, while Preditor went a tad faster, clocking 36.3sec for the short sprint.
So, the question: Can Baertschiger land back-to-back big races? For that matter, can Kellady make up for that lost ride? I would say, for trainer and jockey, it is there for the taking, as both runners cannot be underestimated.
Aramaayo, who is shooting for membership in the Million Dollar Club, has been working towards a big performance in the Kranji showpiece.
Just last month, he claimed the Raffles Cup over 1,600m with a charge from the back of the pack. Also last month, the Kranji Mile winner lost no marks when fourth to the brilliant Top Knight in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
It was a super effort when you consider the fact that he had just three runners behind him when the field straightened for the run home.
The QE II race was over the 1,800m. So, and although Aramaayo has yet to attempt the Gold Cup distance of 2,000m, the extra furlong should - if anything - work to his advantage.
As for Preditor, he is hardly what one would call a "lesser light" in Baertschiger's barn. He is eight and he has trotted out for almost all the big races.
He will not be overawed by the occasion and, it could be said, he had an excellent "tune-up" when he went down in a blanket finish to Super Dynasty in a race over 1,400m on Oct 31.
That day, when ridden by Vlad Duric, Preditor charged home. At the end, he was going better than anything else in the field.
He may not be a glamour horse in Baertschiger's barn, but he seems as honest as they come and cannot be ruled out on Saturday.
Right now, the early money is on Top Knight, last year's winner Mr Clint, Singapore Derby victor Sun Marshal and even Big Hearted to snare a share of the million-dollar prize.
That is the talk of the town.
But, after Nepean's shock win in the EW Barker Trophy, we know that anything can happen.
So, would it not be great to see Baertschiger make it two big races on the trot by saddling the winner of the biggest of them all - the Gold Cup?
Incidentally, Mr Clint and Sun Marshal also galloped yesterday morning.
A'Isisuhairi Kasim was on Mr Clint who clocked 37.4sec. Louis-Philippe Beuzelin took out Sun Marshal for a canter and a 600m spin, also in 37.4sec. Both are at the top of their game.