Preditor gobbles up rivals
Kranji barrier trials
Trial 2 at Kranji yesterday morning saw the big guns turning up in force in what seemed to be the sharpener for the $300,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup over 1,400m on Sunday week.
With runners such as reigning Horse of the Year Debt Collector, dual Group-winning hero Infantry, last-start Group 1 Lion City Cup winner Lim's Cruiser and his runner-up Alibi in the line-up, trackwatchers certainly sat up in anticipation for a cracker.
But the winner of the 1,000m practice jump was none of the above. It was a lower-rated four-year-old who stole the thunder and the way PREDITOR tore up the field was spellbinding.
Sitting midfield on the inside for most of the way behind the leader Hermano Menor, Preditor started to move up nicely on straightening under his own steam.
Ridden by John Powell, the Shane Baertschiger-trained New Zealand-bred strode past Hermano Menor, Italian Job and Alibi easily 250m out and cruised to a three-and-a-half-length victory.
Alibi finished second, with something in hand.
The other eye-catcher was Debt Collector, who came from a long last to finish third, two lengths away.
Trainer Cliff Brown's champion is getting back into the action after his unplaced run in the International Group 1 Dubai Turf over 1,800m at Meydan Race Course on May 25.
In all likelihood, Debt Collector should start favourite in the Stewards' Cup, which is the first leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge.
Infantry, who won the Group 2 Merlion Trophy and then the Group 3 JBBA Moonbeam Vase, was a nice fourth in the trial. He was not urged at any stage
Although triple Group winner Lim's Cruiser was last of the seven runners, it was obvious he was not out to break any records, saving his energy for the real action in 10 days' time.
As Preditor is rated only at 71 points, it would be an ambitious move to throw him into the deep end but, as they say, you have to be in it to win it.
Forever Young was a good example. Who would have thought trainer CT Kuah's young American-bred could beat the much-vaunted Jupiter Gold and the unbeaten Countofmontecristo in the Group 1 Singapore Guineas last Sunday?
But should Baertschiger decide to go for an easier picking, instead of the tough Stewards' Cup, get ready to jump on a good thing.