Logan’s Minister is coming along
Raffles Cup gallopers stretch out on training track at Kranji
With the Raffles Cup just days away, the air is thick with anticipation as to who will lift the Group 1 prize in the 1,600m feature race.
However, it must be said that the action on the training track yesterday morning was a tad subdued with just a handful of the Cup candidates opting for fast gallops.
They were Minister, Sacred Croix and Nowyousee.
But don't for a moment take it to mean that the others are "on holiday".
Trainer Michael Clements' team of six - constituting half the field - galloped on Monday. All looked in the pink of health.
As for yesterday's work, Minister tossed his hat in the ring with a 600m gallop in 35.3sec on turf. A'Isisuhairi Kasim was the man in the saddle.
Sacred Croix, partnered by Rizuan Shafiq, did a spot of cantering before picking up the speed to clock 41.3sec.
As did the Tan Kah Soon-trained Nowyousee. He had veteran rider Saifudin Ismail doing the steering when registering a smart 36sec. That, after a spot of cantering.
Of the trio, perhaps most eyes were drawn to Minister.
With more than a million dollars in the bank - the bulk of it coming when he lifted the Group 1 Kranji Mile in May - Minister has the credentials to run a big race on Saturday.
Trainer Donna Logan has been giving Minister plenty of attention in his build-up to the $300,000 contest.
She sent him for two trials earlier in the month. In the first of those hit-outs, Minister ran away from his rivals to win by a length. He disposed of the 1,000m in a smart 59.81sec.
Then, in his trial just last Thursday morning, Minister was cruising when beaten by Nepean. The margin was a nose.
Minister is ticking over nicely for the big one and must be given a chance against the likes of Lim's Lightning, Mr Malek and Top Knight.
As for Sacred Croix, he carries the flag for leading trainer Mark Walker and he is not without a chance.
His last win was over 1,600m in April. His last two runs have been over the shorter trips. If anything, those races would have topped him up sufficiently.