Minister primed for royal duties
The best from Tuesday morning's trials at Kranji
With the Queen Elizabeth II Cup due to be run two Saturdays from now, trainer Donna Logan has already started getting her main hope all hyped up for royal duties.
Minister, that is. Yes, he who only recently won the Kranji Mile in good fashion.
The five-year-old galloper was at the trials on Tuesday morning.
While he took second in his hit-out, the run was a positive one, no less.
The record books will show that Sacred Rebel won that trial by half a length.
But those who were fortunate enough to witness the trial will most probably be trading talk about how well Minister finished off that 1,000m sprint.
Ridden by A'Isisuhairi Kasim - who is jealously guarding that seat - Minister wasn't involved in the speed battle which ensued when Pindus and Sacred Rebel traded blows up front.
He was still in third spot - and about five lengths in arrears - when the field straightened for the run home.
But, at the furlong mark, "Harry" Kasim clicked his mount into overdrive. Minister didn't need a second invite. With turbo power switched on, he went after the leaders.
Pindus, ridden by Danny Beasley, soon caved in. Narrowing the gap with every stride, Minister charged home.
Alas, the momentum was with Sacred Rebel and the sprint trip proved a tad too short for Minister.
Still, his rider would have been pleased with Minister's response. So too, Logan. She would have given her charge a pat on the neck for a job well done.
As for Minister's owners, the King Power Stable, they will now be quietly confident that their galloper might be able to go one better in the race which slipped out of his grasp last year.
Yes, Minister - then with Lee Freedman - was beaten by Top Knight in the QEII Cup. A month later in November, he went down to Big Hearted in the Singapore Gold Cup.
Now with Logan, his preparation seems to be spot-on. So it's fingers crossed.
Boy Next Door and Cizen Lucky are not in the millionaire's club, but they are both honest Class 5 runners.
Trained by Tan Kah Soon and Jerome Tan respectively, both had admirers when, separately, they won their trials.
Boy Next Door came home well to take the opener by 11/2 lengths, while Cizen Lucky broke clear to win the final trial of the morning by an almost similar margin.
Last week's treble-winning jockey Marc Lerner was astride Boy Next Door. Apprentice Mohamad Akmazani brought home Cizen Lucky.
There's nothing flashy about the two runners but they are both down to contest a Class 5 Division 2 sprint on Saturday.
A race like this is like the twilight zone where anything can happen.
So don't say you haven't been warned.