'Novice' rivals gear up for showdown
The best performers from Wednesday's trackwork from Kranji
Two standouts in Sunday's "Novice" race over the 1,200m strutted around the training track like two schoolyard bullies yesterday morning as they were prepped for their showdown in Race 5.
Arc Triumph had Craig Grylls in the saddle when clocking 39.1sec for the 600m. Not to be outdone, Imperium put in a similar sort of workout, running the distance in 39.9sec.
A son of Showcasing, Arc Triumph carries a little bit more in the "experience" department, having raced six times as compared to Imperium's four outings at Kranji.
While his last start, when third to Best Wishes on March 23, left punters light in the pocket - he was sent off as the $12 favourite - you had to be impressed with his win in February.
That day, when partnered by R Zawari, Arc Triumph left nothing to chance, hitting the front at the top of the straight to win win plenty in the tank.
That victory came on the back of three fourth placings.
However, just when we thought it was safe to dip our toes in the water, Arc Triumph could manage only a third behind deadheaters Safeer and My Horse.
Trained by James Peters for Arc Marine Stable, Arc Triumph is far from the finished product and we see him winning more races.
Will one of those wins come on Sunday?
Not if Imperium has a say in things.
From Michael Clements' yard, the three-year-old son of I Am Invincible looked sharp in his workout.
And like Arc Triumph, he too has not been off the board in all of his Kranji starts.
He kicked off his campaign on Jan 21 and ran a terrific race when third to Most Favourite after wallowing near the rear for most of the 1,100m journey.
Barely a month later, Clements sent him out again and that time, when racing in a more forward position, Imperium came into his own - romping in by half a length in a 1,200m race on grass.
His fan base was growing and many thought he was ready to make it two on the trot.
It was a tall order given the fact he was racing against a young phenom called Zac Kasa.
Still, they backed him down to second favourite and could only watch as he began awkwardly before being carried wide at the 400m mark.
With so much to do, Imperium could manage only a third placing - two-and-a-half lengths behind the winner Lord O'Reilly. Zac Kasa would run second.
Imperium is a horse going places and a win on Sunday wouldn't surprise.
Another star performer on the training track was trainer Shane Baertschiger's multiple winner I've Got A Feeling.
Taken out by Matt Kellady, the four-year-old was all zip when running the 600m in 37.7sec. He had stablemate Montaigne for company.
I've Got A Feeling was narrowly beaten by Melting Point at his last start over 1,400m on March 16.
While the Polytrack isn't his most favoured surface, he comes up against runners with little exposed form to show in Race 3 on Sunday and it could be his race to lose.