Lerner to launch Rocket Star
Trainer Ricardo Le Grange booked the Frenchman two months ago, anticipating the shortage of riders
With three runners in Sunday's feature event, the $250,000 Group 2 Singapore Classic, trainer Ricardo Le Grange looks to be holding a strong hand.
And, he's upped the ante by engaging jockey Marc Lerner on his main hope, Rocket Star.
Indeed, the booking of the Frenchman could push the chestnut into favouritism - behind Inferno, who still remains a hotshot with punters.
Le Grange's other runners are Sweet Angeline and Senor Don.
A fiery mare, Sweet Angeline will be partnered by Benny Woodworth.
Noh Senari gets the seat on Senor Don.
But, by seeding it sure does look like Le Grange's hopes will ride on the "Rocket".
"I booked Marc on Rocket Star two months ago. With so many jockeys engaged with other stables, I wanted to get an early commitment, so I don't have to go chasing for a jockey at the last minute," said Le Grange.
"Marc rode him in his barrier trial on Tuesday morning. It was just a maintenance gallop to keep his fitness up. I'm very happy with the run."
Lerner, who sat on Rocket Star for the first time in trackwork last week, said: "Everything seems to be all right with him."
Things didn't pan out too well for the Rodolfo Mendoza-owned galloper last start in a Class 3 race over 1,200m on Aug 8. He was desperately unlucky behind fellow Classic contender Mr Malek.
He looked to have caught the perfect wave as he circled out wide halfway through the race.
But a chain reaction of horses shifting out at the home turn knocked the stuffing out of him, as he got pushed out the widest.
"He was a victim of the circumstances of the race. He took the worst brunt of it," said Le Grange.
"He was very unlucky, but still showed a lot of guts to run Mr Malek down to half-a-length. He certainly didn't lose any admirers."
Le Grange also produced a positive report card for his two other runners, even if Senor Don, an Argentinian-bred by Senor Candy, has raced only once, beaten about six lengths by Inferno in sixth place.
"At Senor Don's first run, he got held up at the top of the straight, which cost him a length or two. It was still a good run," he said.
"He will definitely come on from that run. I was happy with his trial last Thursday, he's probably looking for longer - up to a mile."
As for Sweet Angeline, she is undefeated in two starts, both occasions ridden by Duric.
"She won twice over 1,200m, but the 1,400m will be up her alley," said Le Grange.
"She trialled very well with Benny last week, and I couldn't be any happier with her going into the race."