Master Ryker should go one better
Debut runner-up has made vast improvement
There is every indication that first-up beaten favourite Master Ryker will make amends in Race 9 at Kranji tomorrow.
From his final gallop on Tuesday morning, the Mark Walker-trained five-year-old Australian-bred showed that he has improved out of sight with just the one run under his belt.
Taken out by rising apprentice jockey K Hakim, the bay gelding was raring to go, but was restrained to clock 38.2sec for the 600m on the Polytrack.
He looked solid as a rock as he walked back to the tunnel leading to the stables.
The connections of the horse knew they had a good thing on debut on Aug 23.
Master Ryker came in for solid support at $19. With champion jockey Vlad Duric at the helm, he nearly justified his favourite's tag.
But, as luck would have it, $267 outsider Arc Triumph was in galloping mood that day.
Apprentice M Nizar brought the James Peters-trained horse to storm home on the outside to beat Master Ryker by a length.
The winning time, 57.99sec, for the Polytrack 1,000m was quite fast.
The run has certainly sharpened up Master Ryker, a two-time winner (1,250m soft and 1,300m good) from 11 starts in Australia.
Hakim, who is chasing his first top apprentice title, gets the ride now. His 3kg claim will come in very handy, bringing Master Ryker' handicap weight down to 54kg.
Furthermore, he has the luck of the draw. His mount will jump from pole position.
The combination is expected to start as the firm favourite in tomorrow's Class 3 Div 2 event over 1,200m on turf.
If you're looking for value, God's Gift could be it.
The Donna Logan-trained four-year-old New Zealand-bred has yet to run a bad race at Kranji.
I like the way he finished his race last start, coming from way back for a smack-up fifth over 1,600m. The 1,800m suits.