Karisto can strike in Colonial Chief Stakes
Freedman-trained gelding will offer value in Singapore's final feature race
The $150,000 Colonial Chief Stakes over the Polytrack 1,600m in Race 9 at Kranji tomorrow is a good race to round up the feature races for the 2020 season.
It may be only a Group 3 feature, but it sure is a race with a gilt edge.
You can make a case for many of the 12 runners. There are no clear-cut favourites. Most are in with a chance.
Defending champion Pennywise may end up as the punters' top choice, but he will be giving weight all round as the 57kg topweight in this race.
Like last month's Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup, tradition is against topweights winning the race.
The last one to do so was the Patrick Shaw-trained Johnny Guitar in 2014, with 57kg.
Only one other toppie was successful - the Mark Walker-trained Flying Fulton in the inaugural race in 2012, with 58kg.
After some consideration, I am leaning towards Karisto, one of trainer Lee Freedman's two strong contenders.
The other is the grey Super Dynasty. Both horses galloped earnestly on Tuesday morning.
Super Dynasty gets in with 54kg, while Karisto will shoulder only 52kg.
It is interesting to note that the China Horse Club-owned Karisto has performed well over the Polytrack 1,600m - and from an inside draw.
Tomorrow, the smallest of the 12 runners (but with a fairly big heart) will jump from Gate 2.
His only Kranji victory was over the course and distance from Gate 4, with 56kg in a Kranji Stakes C event on Jan 10.
One of his other top performances came from one of his six seconds.
It was over the Poly 1,600m and he was drawn in Barrier 3.
In both races mentioned, the chestnut gelding jumped well and secured a forward position, just behind pacemakers.
He went after them turning for home. He won by 41/2 lengths in one and just failed to catch the front-runner Yulong Edition in the other.
Yulong Edition is a six-time winner who was the leader in last month's $1 million Singapore Gold Cup.
If jockey Joseph See could secure the box-seat spot after a clean jump tomorrow, just keep your fingers crossed. With luck, you will be well rewarded.