'Lucky Harry' hopes for quickfire double
Mr Malek and other Singapore Classic contenders strut their stuff
If you thought the Kranji Mile and the Merlion Trophy races produced finishes that racegoers still drool over when talked about in kopitiams and over beers in pubs and bistros, well, prepare yourself for another Sunday sizzler.
The Singapore Classic, to be run over the 1,400m on turf, is shaping up to be - well - a classic in every sense of the word.
The contenders read like a Who's Who in Kranji's sprint roll of honour and their conditioners have toiled to make certain their runners are in mint condition.
The names just roll off the tongue. There's Inferno, Mr Malek, Rocket Star and Strong N Powerful.
Not forgetting the youngsters who are muscling in. Like, Heartening Flyer, Sweet Angeline and Knight Love.
Well, as a sort of preview to the $250,000 race, some of the hopefuls were put through their paces on the training track yesterday morning and, it must be said, they looked a treat to the eye.
Top of the pops was Mr Malek.
He had "man of the moment" A'Isisuhairi Kasim on the reins when he galloped over the 600m in 35.9sec. It was a faultless workout and Mr Malek looked like a million bucks.
Mr Malek's trainer, Lee Freedman and "Harry" Kasim will be looking for a quickfire feature-race double after they claimed the Merlion with Excelling. Don't bet against it happening.
Mr Malek won his last start on Aug 8 in the style of a champion, charging home from way back to beat another swooper, Rocket Star, in that charge to the line.
He will be ideally suited to Sunday's track and trip.
What about Inferno?
Well, he's as sharp as a sabre, hot as hell and ready for combat.
A winner at his last start, which was a Class 3, 1,200m sprint, also on Aug 8, Inferno is in rattling form when taken out for some light cantering.
That day, when sent off as the $6 pick, Inferno never gave his backers any anxious moments, holding fourth spot when they straightened to coast home unchallenged by 11/4 lengths.
If you haven't yet realised it, Inferno is the real deal. He has won five of his six starts beginning in July last year.
Among the trophies in the cabinet are the Magic Millions, the Saas Fee Stakes and the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe.
Make space for the one that's given away to the winner of the "Classic". Inferno's in it with a big shout.
What about Sweet Angeline? One thing is certain. Nothing's wrong with her.
Trained by Ricardo Le Grange, this daughter of Rubick has lived up to the form she has shown at the trials - and she has had a bunch of them.
Two wins from two starts, Sweet Angeline just keeps getting better. With jockey Benny Woodworth aboard yesterday morning, she breezed over the 600m in 36.4sec.
The gutsy gal is ready to take what the boys throw at her. You can bet once she gets to the front, she's going to guard it jealously.
With so much talent on display in this Singapore Group 2 sprint come Sunday, don't blink when you're taking in the action on your TV screen. It's going to be swift and sharp.
Guide to yesterday's gallops by horses engaged at Kranji on Sunday
SINGAPORE CLASSIC - 1,400M
Mr Malek * (K A'Isisuhairi) 35.9. Rocket Star (M Lerner) barrier/35.2. Senor Don
(S Noh) 37.3. Strong N Powerful * (JP van der Merwe) 42.5. Big Hearted * 37.8. Buuraq * 37. 1. Heartening Flyer * (L Beuzelin) 37.8. Sweet Angeline (B Woodworth) 36.4. Knight Love 37.
CLASS 3 - 1,400M
Makkem Lad * 40. Quarter Back * (S Shafrizal) 36.2. Super Dynasty (M Kellady) 36.3. The August pace work. Siam Vipasiri * (Beuzelin) 36.9. Golden Flame * 38.1.
CLASS 4 (1) - 1,200M
Dinghu Mountain canter/41.4. Paletas * (Shafrizal) 38.1. Hyde Park gallop. Eastiger 38.5.
CLASS 4 (2) - 1,200M
Water Rocket * (T Krisna) 37.2. Ironclad * (WH Kok) 35.4. Me No Marsh Mellow (N Zyrul) 39.4. Atlantean (I Saifudin) 37.7. Gold Reward canter/39.2.
CLASS 4 (3) - 1200M
Chicago Star * (S John) 38.6. Count Me In barrier/35.4. Golden Dash * (Krisna) 36.5. Tyson (M Nizar) 35.1. I'm A Conqueror (R Munger) 41.3.
CLASS 4 (1) - 1100M
Calculation (Merwe) 40.1. Fire Away * 36.6. Super Posh 39.1. Yulong Express * (R Iskandar) 38.7. Saturno Spring 45.8. Sun Rectitude (CC Wong) 40.4.
CLASS 4 (2) - 1100M
Burkaan * 37.7. Pindus * (Krisna) 35.3. Rambo gallop. Key Success 36.7. Terrific (Woodworth) 43.1. Sun Princeps * (Beuzelin) 34.7. Healthy Star * (A'Isisuhairi) 37.7. The Brotherhood (Nizar) 35.7. Winning Hobby (Munger) 37.4.
CLASS 5 (1) - 1600M
Sun Ace (R Iskandar) canter/36.4. The Iceman canter/36.8. Apollo Rock (A'Isisuhairi) canter/39.3. Blue Chip 37.5. Sun Conqueror (Noh) 39.2. Gold Company barrier/35.7. Tell Me 36.2. Ocean Eleven 44.6.
CLASS 5 (2) - 1600M
Sun General (Iskandar) canter/36.3. Silkardo 39. 1. Bencoolen 38.5. Big Regards 40.6. Millennium's Rule 36.2. Joyful Aspiration (Merwe) 37.5. Pennsylvania (Kok) 42/36. Turf Beauty (Lerner) 37.4. Spirit Seven 44.5/pace work. Official * canter/36.7.
CLASS 5 (3) - 1600M
Lim's Pride (Woodworth) pace work/ 36.1. Cizen Lucky (Lerner) 38.4. Fight To Victory 40.4. Gravel Road 43.5. Military Chairman 39.1.
CLASS 5 - 1100M
Asia Spirit 34.7. Blitz Power 38.5. Uncle Lucky 39.9. Silver Sword (Lerner) 43.5. Super Win (Munger) gallop. Solitaire barrier/36.8. My Miracle (Koh) 38.9.
OPEN MAIDEN - 1600M
Trafalgar 38.4. Clarton Supreme (Nizar) 38.3. Iron Fist canter/36.7. Codigos * (Noh) 37.8. Tobruk * (Munger) canter/36.3. Declare War (Merwe) 36.3. Beauty Spirit 37.4. Sun Palace (Merwe) 36.4. Lion Spirit 40.9.
RESTRICTED MAIDEN - 1200M
Almalek 36.7. Day Approach * (Beuzelin) 38.1. Raging Brave (Lerner) 37.7. Infinite Wisdom * (WW Cheah) 43.3. Kanthaka (I Azhar) 38.4. Oracle 34.9. Tony's Love (Noh) 36.6.
OPEN MAIDEN - 1200M
Qiji Star 39.1. Qiji Flyer 39.4. Another Show (Merwe) barrier/36. Legendary Era (Woodworth) barrier/36.8. Majestic barrier/36.1. Bell Air (Koh) 39.5. Sun Decree (T Rehaizat) 36.3. Sun Royale 36.3.