It's wait and see for Nowyousee
Le Grange believes his three-year-old will measure up against the big boys
Trainer Ricardo Le Grange is tossing exciting three-year-old Nowyousee in with the big boys in Friday's Race 7, a Kranji Stakes A race over 1,100m .
The Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge is Nowyousee's main target, but with the series kicking off with the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1,200m) on March 30, Le Grange could not afford to have the Titanium Racing Stable-owned gelding loafing around until then.
The South African mentor is aware the $125,000 Kranji Stakes A race over 1,100m will be a tougher proposition than the cattle the son of O'Reilly made light work of at his three wins from four starts, but it will at the same time give a good guide where he stands.
Nowyousee won easily at his debut in Restricted Maiden company, then scored in Class 4 and Class 3 (RDA Cup) category.
The only blemish came at his second-last start when second to Draco in a Class 3 race over 1,200m on Jan 12. All his races were on Polytrack.
Le Grange said Friday's race will be a big test for Nowyousee, but added he would not be in the line-up if he had doubts whether he could hold his own against the likes of Nova Swiss, Olympic Anthem, Constant Justice and Distinctive Darci.
"It will be a big test for him," he said. "But I wouldn't have put him in the race if he wasn't up to it. It'll be a big learning curve, but from the way he won at his last start in Class 3 company against older horses, there is no reason why he cannot measure up.
"The 3YO Sprint is still six weeks away. There was an opportunity to give him a run first, and I've taken it. I'll have to give him a turf gallop closer to the time. He's never run on grass, but I see no reason why he wouldn't handle it."
To be ridden by Nooresh Juglall, Nowyousee will carry the bottomweight of 49kg, in receipt of as much as nine kilos from the topweight Nova Swiss.
Le Grange saddles a second runner in Elusive Emperor who will have Barend Vorster up. A line can be put through his last run when a long last to Solaris Spectrum on Jan 26. He returned with an irregular heart rhythm and respiratory distress.
"Elusive Emperor is a good, honest, and genuine horse," said Le Grange. "He's come good after his respiratory distress. He's been working well and I expect a good run."
The Tmen Stable-owned six-year-old is an old stalwart who is at his fourth season at Kranji, having already brought up a handy record of seven wins in 31 starts. All wins bar one were recorded on turf.
Yesterday's Kuala Lumpur trackwork
WORKOUTS BY HORSES ENGAGED FOR SATURDAY
Metro A - 1,400m: D'Buffalo Man * trot/44.8.
Class 4 - 1,400m: Lee Bank * canter/42.3.
Slow work: Immortality *. Drought.
Class 5 - 1,200m: Slow work: Booster *. Flying Neko *.
Class 5 - 1,200m: Slow work: Buzz Man *.
Class 5 - 1,400m: Aureus 39.8.
Class 5 - 1,400m: Rainbow Star 39.8.
Open Maiden - 1,200m: Pendragon Princess * pace work.
WORKOUTS BY HORSES ENGAGED FOR SUNDAY
Class 4 - 1,200m: Slow work: Sand Bank *. Ollie Eagle.
Class 4 - 1,400m: Frankly My Dear canter/pace work.
Class 4 - 1,800m: Slow work: Blood Royal *. Karigara *.
Open Maiden - 1,200m: Nasi Lemak * canter/42.1.
Maiden - 1,600m: Super Buffalo * canter/pace work.