Infantry just keeps marching on
Topweight in the Dester Singapore Gold Cup, Alwin Tan's pride faces heavy task
Such is his fan club that we were expecting them to come in droves to back him on Sunday.
Now, and coupled with his nice piece of work on the training track yesterday morning, we just might see an army throwing their support behind Infantry in the Dester Singapore Gold Cup.
Ridden by his regular partner Manoel Nunes in that bit of morning work, Infantry was all business when clocking 36.9sec for the 600m.
While doubts and a few injury scares were lingering doubts did cast a question mark over his participation in the great classic, yesterday's workout did seem to suggest that nothing is amiss.
Winner of the Moonbeam vase in April, the Emirates Singapore Derby in July and the Panasonic Kranji Mile on Oct 1, Infantry's target had always been the big one - Sunday's Gold Cup.
But, as mentioned, niggling issues became fodder for speculation. Would he or won't he?
Well, it seems the "ayes" have won the day. All that is to come is a brilliant showing in the 2,200m showpiece.
Weight, they say, can stop a train. With the 57.5kg that he has been asked to carry, Infantry will be throwing it around like confetti. And, it's worrisome.
But, there is that other thing. It's called class. And, like they say, it conquers all.
In a race like this, a horse like Infantry will keep lifting the tempo, upping the stakes and - if he is at the top of his game - he could make the contest unbearable for the others.
So, and until we hear otherwise from his camp - especially his trainer Alwin Tan - let us assume it's all systems go.
Another one who has to give weight to his rivals is Captain Jamie.
Brimming with talent and touted a future star, he was all speed in his workout.
With Nooresh Juglall in the saddle, the three-year-old went into many notebooks as a horse to follow when clocking a swift 35.6sec for the 600m.
Down to contest a Class 4, 1,700m event on Friday, the "Captain" has been asked to tote a load of 58.5kg.
A winner of two races from six starts, both those wins were secured when carrying a feather on his back. He had 49.5kg when winning in August and 50kg when he completed his race-to-race double a month later.
In his last start in Class 4, he humped 57kg and, as we now know, he failed to land a blow. Juglall, who rode him that day, could only say that Captain Jamie was "disappointing over the concluding stages".
The Stewards instructed that he participate in a 1,000m gallop before his next start.
That he did on Nov 2 - and he passed spectacularly, winning in 60.91sec while carrying 59kg.
Will he and can he bounce back from defeat and win on Friday with 58.5kg?
Don't rule it out.