Rivals square up for battle
Nothing to separate Paparazzi and Lim's Blast on training track
If you need a reason to be at the races on Sunday, here's one.
It's the clash between Paparazzi and Lim's Blast. They will cross swords in Race 7 and it's a duel to savour.
Of course, in that race there's that other brilliant youngster, Lim's Royal. And Melting Point to juice up the contest. But that's another bridge to cross.
For now, let's look at Paparazzi and Lim's Blast. Both four-year-olds won at their last start and both turned in stylish workouts on the training track yesterday morning.
Paparazzi had John Powell on the reins when running the 600m in 38.6sec while Lim's Blast clocked a swift 35.1sec with Barend Vorster in the saddle.
Paparazzi was paced by Flak Jacket while the James Peters-trained Lim's Blast had Pegasus Junior as a galloping companion.
Back to the nitty-gritty and Paparazzi blitzed his rivals on Jan 21. Taking command long before they straightened , he soon had his rivals in their sixes and sevens.
As he got better, they got the staggers.
Eventually, he ended their misery by clearing away and coasting in with five lengths to spare.
It was his second win from four starts. He had, in October, won on debut beating Wonderful Knight by almost two lengths in a 1,200m sprint which saw him fashion a late run after opting to sit off the pace.
While Glen Boss rode him on debut, it has since been Powell who has zealously guarded his seat on the Shane Baertschiger runner.
As for Lim's Blast, his path to this clash has been almost identical to that of his most potent rival.
He's won two races, the first was also in October last year when he seemingly grew an extra leg over the concluding stages of that 1,100m race on the Poly to beat Chocante by a length.
Then, and just a fortnight ago and over the shorter 1,000m, he showed he had steel in his heart when he fought and won a three-way battle to the line.
That too, was on the alternate surface.
So, you ask, does he not get a high on grass?
Well, and like we all surely agree, he'll never know until he's tried it.
The thing is, Lim's Blast has tried it just twice.
And the first time saw him come away without any adverse effects.
That day, and after proving difficult to settle, he ran third to Queen Roulette.
Paparazzi was also in that race and he finished ninth when installed $11 favourite.
So, who is it going to be on Sunday? Because of the weight difference, Paparazzi will hump 57kg while Lim's Blast gets in with 51.3kg, many will be swayed towards the bottomweight.
But the race is on the turf and since green grass seems to send Lim's Blast into mental decline, Paparazzi should rule.
Wednesday's Kranji trackwork
GALLOPS BY HORSES RUNNING ON FRIDAY
RACE 7: Super Power (B Vorster) pace work. Yulong Honor (N Juglall) 40.9.
GALLOPS BY HORSES RUNNING ON SUNDAY
RACE 1: Obstacles Free (N Hanafi) 36.3. Rocket Fighter (A Munro) 38.8. Thoth Warrior * 37.8.
RACE 2: Kranji Gold * 38.9. Gingerman 38.4. Skydance Eclipse (C Grylls) 36.7. Sonny Bill (MM Firdaus) canter/37.9. Overseer (M Kellady) 43.7. Big Wave * (Curatolo) 37.1.
RACE 3: Jacks Secret * canter/38.6. Masurao (Zaki) canter/37.1.
RACE 5: Gran Torino * (Grylls) 37. Montaigne (Kellady) 44.3.
RACE 6: Pure White (Zaki) 35.4. Balkan Challenger (Munro) 39.7.
RACE 7: Paparazzi * (Powell) 38.6. Justice Light (Zawari) 37.1. Tales Of Summer 37.7. Lim's Blast * 35.1.
RACE 8: Elite General * (MM Firdaus) 34.7. Stunning Cat * (Powell) 37.8. The Cosmos * (Zawari) 33.7. Sacred Surfer * (Grylls) 37.9.
RACE 9: Flak Jacet (Kellady) 38.6. Bao Shan Magic * (Zawari) canter/37.2. Brahma Circus 39.9. Sir Isaac * 37.7.
RACE 10: Pegasus Junior * 35.1. Haytham * 35.3. Majulah (Juglall) canter/39.5. The Golden Goat 35.2. Honor * (Grylls) 36.5. Apollo 38.9. Lucky Boy 39.5.