Newcomer Shamrock can make dream debut
Kranji Sunday preview
You can call me brave if you like, but I am making a Restricted Maiden newcomer my top bet at Kranji tomorrow.
Well, leading trainer Mark Walker's SHAMROCK has left a huge impression on me on the way he performed in both his trials.
In his first on July 18, he tracked second before striding to the front at the top of the straight under his own steam.
True, his winning time of 1min 02.19sec for the Polytrack 1,000m wasn't that flashy, just ordinary to be exact.
But there was a lot of merit in that victory.
On appearance, he still carried some excess baggage, but there was a lot to like about the way the three-year-old Australian-bred travelled.
His movement was very fluid and his strides were strong and steady.
With Round 1 done, Walker put Shamrock through another jump-out on Tuesday morning and his charge certainly trotted out a lot trimmer. His coat was also gleaming.
But, so as not to overcook the horse, the bay gelding was not out to break any records.
He just went gliding through the trial and race-jockey Vlad Duric did not flex a muscle.
He finished third but I feel he could have won if Duric wanted to. Anyway, it wasn't a race. It was just to clear the wind for tomorrow's assault.
I am quite confident that Shamrock is now spot-on for tomorrow's Race 2, which does not look strong.
Of his seven rivals, six have raced before but they have to improve a lot on their last-start efforts to have a winning chance.
The unraced newcomer Filibuster ran second in his trial but I reckon Shamrock is a safer choice.
Trainer Ricardo Le Grange's Mokastar is the most experienced of the raced runners and could well start as the favourite on his three placings in his first three starts.
I agree that his last-start 11th to Be Bee in the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe should be forgotten but somehow I have lost some faith in the horse after having tipped him a couple of times.
Shamrock is now my new friend and I hope he justifies my confidence in him.