Looking bright for Sun Chess
The best from the trials on Tuesday morning
Just when we thought the quality of horseflesh in his yard couldn't get any better, trainer Lee Freedman introduces us to one that's waiting in the wings.
The name's Sun Chess - and as you might already have guessed - he's owned by the Sun Bloodstock Racing Stable.
Formerly known as Chess Star, when racing out of his home track at Randwick in Sydney, Sun Chess was super impressive when winning his trial at Kranji on Tuesday morning.
It was his second hit-out since arriving here. In that first one on March 3, he finished a smack-up second to More Than Oil.
In fairness, jockey Patrick Moloney - who was on the reins - didn't ask him to do too much and still, Sun Chess was travelling best when they hit the line.
The tactics seemed the same on Tuesday, Moloney jumped him cleanly and eased him back to sit third behind the pace set by Showbound and Siam Vipasiri.
Into the straight and still on a tight hold, Moloney peeled his mount to the outside for clear running room. Asked to go, Sun Chess opened up. Then and there, at the 300m mark, it was checkmate.
The chestnut with the white blaze gobbled up everything in front of him to scoot home by two lengths in a splendid time of 59.46sec.
When racing as Chess Star in Australia, he won two races from eight outings.
He broke his maiden status on March 23, 2018. That day, when racing as a two-year-old, he led all the way to win a 1,200m race at Moonee Valley.
Eight months later, in November of that same year, he never gave his rivals a look-in, leading from go to whoa over Rosehill's 1,100m.
The Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott-trained youngster had his last start Down Under in November last year.
It was over the Flemington 1,400m and again he charged clear.
However, he didn't bow out in a blaze of glory. Racing for the last time as Chess Star, he was headed at the 300m mark and dropped back to finish 10th in that 14-horse field.
Now known as Sun Chess, he has yet to feature in a race at Kranji. By all counts, he looks forward enough to warrant support first-up.
So keep him in mind.
In an earlier trial, Harbour Approach won with quite a bit left in the tank.
Ridden by Louis-Philippe Beuzelin and jumping from five in that seven-horse hit-out, he tracked the leader, Miss Michelle, all the way until the 200m mark.
Given a flick of the reins, he hit the front and gradually pulled clear of Miss Michelle to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Vulcan, the mount of Matthew Kellady, finished a long third.
Formerly trained by Saimee Jumaat but now with Michael Clements, Harbour Approach showed potential across the Causeway, where he took two wins from two races.
In March, he romped home over the 1,200m at a Selangor Turf Club meeting and, a month later, followed it up with another easy win at Penang.
Sent over to take up residence at Saimee's barn at Kranji, he won a trial second-up, clocking 60.35sec for the 1,000m.
Harbour Approach is coming to hand nicely and bears watching in his next couple of runs.