New trainer Tan's got a 'Super' headache
His stable star, Clarton Super, has to hump topweight on Sunday
New trainer Tan Kah Soon had to bite the bullet when Sunday's Benchmark 83 race over the mile (Race 9) was changed to a Kranji Stakes C race over 1,400m.
The Malaysian handler had long targeted the BM83 race for Clarton Super, the highest-rated (77) galloper in his small string of 16 horses, and understandably, the apple of his eye.
But the moment David Hill's former assistant-trainer was told about the change to the programme, his heart sank. "We already missed the Racing Guide Classic (Oct 8) because he was balloted out," said Tan.
"We then saw that Benchmark 83 race which would have been perfect for him but it was cancelled. We've been trying to avoid a Kranji Stakes C race for him because of the handicap he would get.
"The 59.5kg he got might kill him, just like two starts back when he ran fifth to Mighty Kenny with a similar weight.
"But I didn't have any other choice. These are the cards we are dealt with and we just have to take it on the chin and try our luck.
"It's not ideal as it's hard to keep a horse ticking over for eight weeks, but we'll see how the cards fall on Sunday."
The Swift Alliance five-year-old last raced - for the last time for his previous handler Hill - in a Benchmark 83 race where he carried 54.5kg for Malaysian veteran jockey Azhar Ismail on Sept 8, storming home late for second to Aramco.
"Clarton Super was unlucky not to have won. He was wide and ran on late, but that's racing," said Tan whose father is former Penang trainer Dr Tan Swee Hock.
"He's a very under-utilised horse. I try and space his runs between three to four weeks, and he runs well every time we do that.
"We are putting I Amirul on to get some weight relief, take two kilos off his back."
Tan is under no illusions it is not the hefty load which will be Clarton Super's only hurdle.
"He's running against some very good horses like Iron Man and Gold Crown, both last-start winners. Bao Shan Magic is also good," he said.
"This race on Sunday will give me a better idea where he is at. I would like to step him up in distance after that. But we'll take it one race at a time and see how he goes."