Nunes salutes Infantry after good trial
Derby winner will run in the Panasonic Kranji Mile
Champion jockey Manoel Nunes is making a big call by saying INFANTRY has come back at around the same fitness level he was at when he won the Emirates Singapore Derby at his last start in July.
The son of Tavistock produced his trademark fighting spirit to land the third Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge, handing trainer Alwin Tan his first Singapore Derby win and Nunes his second after Spalato in 2014.
Two months have since elapsed, and Nunes jumped off with a big thumbs-up following Infantry's first barrier trial since his resounding Group 1 success in the Emirates-sponsored blue riband.
"He trialled very well. He's a class horse and has come back as well as he could have since the Derby," said the Brazilian jockey who recovered from a knee injury in time for that win.
"He really appreciated the break and (trainer) Alwin Tan and the boys have done a great job to bring him back to his best."
Not one of the best away, Infantry, however, quickly mustered speed to sit outside White Hunter (Vlad Duric) before being ridden along to take the lead coming down the back.
"He trialled without blinkers, jumped normally and I gave him a bit of a squeeze to keep up with the leaders," said Nunes.
"He's dropping back to 1,600m at his comeback race next week, we will put the blinkers on, just to sharpen him up.
"To me, he feels as good as he was in the Derby."
Infantry is being aimed at the first Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series for his comeback race, the Group 1 Panasonic Kranji Mile (1,600m) on Oct 1.
"It's going to be a tough race first-up against so many good horses like Debt Collector and Lim's Cruiser, but I feel he is in the form of his life," said Nunes.
"No doubt the weight-for-age conditions make it even tougher, but the way he's going right now has given me every confidence he will still run a good race."