Sun Marshal real hot
Freedman-trained Raffles Cup hopeful works up a storm on training track
With two days to go to the Raffles Cup and, with all work seemingly done, it was Sun Marshal who kept the buzz going by showing up on the training track at Kranji yesterday morning.
And, he didn't just "show up". He made his presence felt with a big gallop.
Working on the right-handed Track 6, he gave two stablemates a couple of lengths' headstart - only to pull alongside after just 300m.
The trio from Lee Freedman's yard then matched strides to finish the 600m locked together.
Sun Marshal, who was partnered by Ryan Munger, was timed at 36.2sec for the 600m hit-out.
It was a solid piece of work. If anything, it served to remind us that the chestnut is in the form of his life.
That being the case, it spells trouble for the likes of Countofmontecristo and Aramaayo, who worked with gusto on Tuesday morning.
Shooting for the million-dollar mark in stake money earned - he already has in excess of $850,000 - Sun Marshal knows what it is like to be on the big stage.
You could say he has been there and done that.
Although "that" was 15 months ago, racegoers still remember how he took the Singapore Derby by the scruff of the neck.
He came from the back of the pack, had to race wide and still managed to beat the likes of Mr Clint and King Louis.
Since that win, it could be said that Sun Marshal has been on a slow boil.
He has had six starts - three of them in the big races.
He was third to I'm Incredible in last year's Queen Elizabeth II Cup, second to "The Count" in February's Chairman's Trophy and, more recently, fourth behind Aramaayo in the $1 million Kranji Mile.
Freedman has been meticulous with the six-year-old.
Besides yesterday's gallop, Sun Marshal was at the trials last Thursday - and he really did impress.
Partnered by Munger, he jumped well but was snagged back to sit third at the 600m mark.
He was still some four lengths in arrears at the 250m mark. That was when he got going.
Given rein, he opened up on all cylinders to mow down Pennywise and Lim's Dream to take the trial very impressively.
On the trial and the workout, Sun Marshal has got what is needed to lift Saturday's Raffles Cup. Ignore him at your peril.
The other Raffles Cup candidate who wound up his preparation with a gallop yesterday morning was Siam Blue Vanda.
The Michael Clements-trained Group 2 Stewards' Cup winner was unextended when clocking 38.4sec.
GALLOPS BY HORSES ENGAGED AT KRANJI ON SATURDAY
RACE 5: Star Empire 42.1.
RACE 7: Vittoria Perfetta pace work.
RACE 9: My Dreamliner 39.2.
RACE 10 (Raffles Cup): Sun Marshal * (R Munger) 36.2. Siam Blue Vanda * 38.4.