Shane has a hold on TNP Cup
Australian trainer well represented with Blue Swede and Mikki Joy in comeback of sponsored race
Seven years ago, when he just took over from his father Don, Shane Baertschiger landed the last of 10 editions of The New Paper Trophy with El Milagro.
Fast forward to tonight, the lanky Australian trainer they call Stretch at Kranji is hopeful of picking up the race, which is making a comeback to thank TNP readers for their support, with two good runners.
Both Blue Swede and Mikki Joy are the highest rated in the field, along with the Leslie Khoo-trained mare Claudia's Beauty, at 89 points.
The trio take pride of place with 57kg but the handicap still appears to favour them on class in tonight's TNP Cup in Race 7, which starts at 9.45pm.
Blue Swede has run against some of the best at Kranji, most notable of which was his spellbinding third on the right outside fence to Bahana in the $.135 million Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup in 2016.
His rating rose to a high of 97 points but his last victory was with tonight's 89 rating, but that was in July 2017. He did drop in for a couple of placings.
If the Blue Swede of old comes alive, he is very hard to beat.
His last-start run from a spell was not a bad effort, finishing seventh but only three lengths behind the winner Eye Guy. A fast pace is what he will be looking for and, if he gets it, watch him fly home.
Mikki Joy, on the other hand, is in sizzling form, winning his last two starts. The five-time winner in Japan signalled his TNP Cup chances with a beautiful trial last week.
Form-wise, I will be rooting for Mikki Joy.
Claudia's Beauty lost to Mikki Joy in her last two starts. But, if she gets the right run, the four-time winner can be a force to be reckoned with.