Red Dragon in fiery form
The vastly improved CT Kuah-trained 3YO makes a sound proposition tomorrow
Tomorrow's Race 2 - the $75,000 Restricted Maiden event over 1,200m on turf - looks like a race for "dragons".
The trio with the legendary creature's moniker - Dragon Sands, Dragon Tycoon and Red Dragon - stand out in the field of 14 three-year-olds. They have the best form to win the race.
Although Dragon Sands and Dragon Tycoon have more experience, I think debut runner-up Red Dragon has vast potential and should come up tops.
Trained by former jockey Kuah Cheng Tee, the sparkling New Zealand-bred caught the eye with his last-to-second in a similar race on Aug 15.
The brown gelding ruined his chances with a bad start. He trailed last and breathed fire on the front-runners only in the dash for home.
He came within only 11/2 lengths of the winner, Dinar, who is a horse with a bright future.
Dragon Tycoon, trained by Ricardo Le Grange, finished third in the same race as the $13 favourite. He was a head away from Red Dragon ($73).
He has two other starts - for a second-up second - and thus has more miles in his legs than Red Dragon.
The James Peters-trained Dragon Sands has the most starts among the Dragon trio, having raced six times for a third and two fourths.
He is one of the two topweights with 57kg, while Red Dragon and Dragon Tycoon are handicapped at 52.5kg.
But Dragon Tycoon will be carrying 1kg more as champion apprentice jockey Simon Kok claim 1kg last start.
Tomorrow, he will be ridden by jockey Isisuhairi Kasim without any allowance.
One good thing is Dragon Tycoon will be wearing blinkers for the first time. This can perk him up. He also has a nice barrier - Gate 2. He will certainly give Red Dragon a tough time.
But, from what I see, Red Dragon has improved tremendously.
In his trial last week, he raced very wide all the way and finished strongly to be just a nose behind the winner Istataba.
He could have won easily with a more economical run or had jockey John Sundradas released the brakes.
Dragon Tycoon was also quite impressive when third in a faster-run trial behind Harry Dream that morning.
On Tuesday morning, Red Dragon looked a million dollars after pulling up from a leisurely 600m gallop in about even time.
That swayed my allegiance to him, with a lot of respect for Dragon Tycoon.