Placais sure Super Fortune will pass big test
It's time he faces the big boys in a race
Jockey Olivier Placais looked a bit subdued after progressive sprinter Super Fortune ran third in a barrier trial on Tuesday, but the Frenchman remained bullish there was still room for improvement until his next major assignment on Dester Singapore Gold Cup day next Sunday.
The former Sydney galloper has been an instant hit at Kranji with three wins from four starts, all over 1,200m and the last two at Class 3 level.
On a personal level, Placais has developed a strong bond with the Mossman four-year-old trained by Alwin Tan as he handed him his very first win at his first day back from a three-month suspension on July 14, his national day.
The step-up to the Kranji Stakes A race over 1,200m may feel like a quantum leap for the former one-time Kembla Grange winner over 1,400m, but Placais said he had to be tossed in with the big boys at some stage.
"He's won two Class 3 races, and he had to take on the better horses eventually. It will be a big test for him in a Kranji Stakes A race," he said after the barrier trial.
"After his last win, he did nothing for 10 days and we've slowly brought him back to race fitness. The horse is well. I would say he has maintained his form even if I thought he would win Tuesday's trial."
After a smart jump, Super Fortune sat on the inside of trial leader Pole Paradise (Derreck David) looking to be travelling within his own steam. Turning for home, Super Fortune gave the distinct impression he could edge past Pole Paradise, but struggled to get past.
In the end, the pair were upstaged on the outside by the better-finishing Affleck (Craig Grylls) with Super Fortune in third spot.
"It was the plan to give him a barrier trial two weeks before his next race. Last week, I gave him a nice sprint over 400m; when he saw his stablemates in front of me, he lengthened up when slipped some rein," said Placais.
"He was coming into it quite well but at the 150m, he seemed to be a bit flat, like he could not find another kick. It was still a good hit-out and he will come on from that. I'm sure he will be a lot fitter at his next gallop.
"Can he measure up next Sunday? Put it this way, I would be disappointed if he doesn't finish in the top four."