Mikki Joy has eyes on TNP Cup
The best from yesterday morning's trackwork at Kranji
Mikki Joy put up a show on the training track yesterday morning, suggesting he was up to the task and in good enough form to claim The New Paper Cup on Friday.
One of three runners carrying topweight of 57kg in the 1,600m race, Mikki Joy was in his element when running the 600m in 37.7sec. He had Longhu (Class 4 Division 2, 1,200m) as a galloping companion.
A seven-year-old entire, he is one of two runners from trainer Shane Baertschiger's yard to contest the $85,000 race. The other is Blue Swede.
Mikki Joy, a Japanese bred by Deep Impact, has certainly made an impact here in Singapore, banking in close to $100,000 from just three starts. Then again, the bulk of the money came from two wins and one was over the mile on grass - the same distance he will have to travel on Friday night.
Mikki Joy opened his Kranji account in early February, holding a spot in the box seat before moving up into second spot at the bend.
Into the straight and there was no stopping him. With Joh n Powell urging him on, he hit the front at the 200m mark and cleared away to put a distance between himself and Star Jack, who came on to claim second spot.
A month later, Baertschiger sent his charge over the longer 1,800m and Mikki Joy gobbled up the extra 200m like a chaff cutter. Powell was on the reins.
Indeed, and except for one occasion - Mikki Joy's debut in January - "JP" has always been in the driving seat.
And why not? Mikki Joy is a workaholic.
On his way to his first win, he had three trials for two wins. And it was as recent as last Thursday that we saw him, yet again, at the trials.
That day he finished a smack-up fourth behind Yulong Xiongyin. He clocked a really smart time of 59.93sec for the 1,000m when carrying 68kg.
It was way back in the early 2000's that Bartschiger's dad, Don, won The New Paper Cup three times.
The son has won it just once. That was in 2012 with El Milagro. We reckon nothing would please him more if he were to get another victory on Friday.
Standing in his way, though, is Claudia's Beauty. With jockey Z Zuriman in the saddle, the five- year-old was all zip when covering the trip in 36.6sec. He had Grand Knight (Class 4 Division 3, 1,200m) for company.
The Australian-bred mare, who began her Kranji racing career in November of 2017, has been good for her connections. In what has been 15 race starts, she has greeted the judge four times for stake money in excess of $200,000.
However, and as for winning , it's been a long wait between drinks for her owners. The last time Claudia's Beauty won a race was last September. That day, she beat a Kranji Stakes C field over the mile.
It was a dogged performance and Claudia's Beauty had to come from a long way back when they straightened to claim victory by 1/2 length.
Last time out, she never landed a blow when sent over the 1,800m. But she will appreciate the drop back in distance and trainer Leslie Khoo will surely present her for Friday's feature looking as right as a racehorse can be.