Wimbledon gears up for Merlion Trophy
Last-start swift winner WIMBLEDON is still in mint condition and looks ready to collect his first silverware on Sunday.
The James Peters-trained five-year-old Australian-bred looked fighting fit at Kranji yesterday morning when he disposed of 600m in 38.2sec on Track 6 with jockey Vlad Duric astride. He finished with plenty in reserve.
Being the highest-rated, the brown gelding takes pride of place in the Group 2 Merlion Trophy over 1,200m on the Polytrack in Race 9 on Sunday.
His advantage is that he does not have to concede weight to all but two of his rivals under the weight-for-age condition.
Only last-start winner Fortune Winner gets a 1.5kg reprieve to 56kg for being a mare and five-in-a-row hero Nova Swiss a 2.5kg reprieve to 55kg for being a three-year-old.
Wimbledon scored his latest victory - his seventh - in the most impressive manner on Jan 20, one that suggests good things lie ahead.
He led all the way over the 1,200m in 1min 08.85sec, which was just 0.7sec outside Spalato's record set in 2014. Very few winners dipped below 1min 09sec at Kranji.
Consistent and honest, Wimbledon has been placed in a few black-type races, including a three-quarter-length second in the Group 3 Kranji Sprint over 1,200m in April last year behind trainer Stephen Gray's Group 1 KrisFlyer International Sprint runner-up Emperor Max.
On yesterday's hit-out, he could be the one to beat in the Merlion Trophy.
The race, however, is shaping up as a mini thriller with a few runners capable of stealing the thunder from Wimbledon, who has drawn the second-widest barrier and will most likely press forward to secure a nice spot.
GALLOPS BY TOMORROW'S RUNNERS
RACE 2: Chosen Harvest 44.4.
RACE 6: Ode To Joy H 42.3. Mr Fantastic (N Juglall) sprinted the the straight of Track 6.
RACE 8: Johnny Kongos 41.2.
GALLOPS BY SUNDAY'S RUNNERS
RACE 1: Haytham (G Mosse) 36.7. The Cosmos H (R Shafiq) 35.5. Hiko Yunikon H (K A'Isisuhairi) 35.5. Eurozone (V Duric) canter/40.7. Tassajara H 40.8.
RACE 2: One Kinabalu H (J Powell) 43.5. Perfect DJ (B Woodworth) 40.5. Pomp (Woodworth) 37.9. Lim's Blast (D Beasley) 40.9. Majullah 35.6.
RACE 3: Dreamweaver H 40.8. Champagne Rein H (Mosse) 38.3. Blue Diamond H (O Placais) 35.5. Effortless H (H Syafiq) 36.9. Elite Takes All H 37.7. Lim's Shine H (Beasley) 37.7. Castle Queen 41.5. Mastermind (Woodworth) canter/36.7.
RACE 4: Immortal Legacy H (M Kellady) 37.7. Miss Elysium H (M Rodd) canter/40.2. Helen canter/40.1. Pretty Elusive (M Nunes) 44..4. Yourstokeep (A Munro) 42.8. Archer Company 39.1. Nova Star (T See) 40.6. Across The Sea H (D David) 36.3. Joy And Happy H 42.2.
RACE 5: Gilt Complex H (Rodd) 38.8. One Rar (Kellady) 40.4. Casing Royal (Mosse) 38.9. Mighty Emperor 40.2. Muscle Beach 38.9. Mongolian Chief H (Munro) 37.7. Cordoba 37.1. Viva Joe Strummer canter/35.8.
RACE 6: Silent Arrow (Duric) 39.5. Thunder Cat (Placais) 36.2. Auspicious Ace H (Shafiq) 39.8. Rum N Raisins H (O Chavez) 36.1. Stirling (G Boss) canter/42.6.
RACE 7: Grand Cross H 40.7. Lightning Fast H (CC Wong) canter/36.7. Awesome H 39. Anonymous H (S John) 39.6. Eatons Gold H (Shafiq) 36.5. Roselli H 38.5. Caorunn H (Kellady) 37.4. Lim's Dashing H (Beasley) 43.3. Supernova H canter/36.7.
RACE 8: Aspen H (Shafiq) 38.7. Key On Kodiac H 38.8. Moon River 36.4. Dominy (I Saifudin) 39.6. Margaux canter/36.3. Darci's Boy (Powell) canter/37.1. Cheetah King H 37.7. Manmadhan 39.2. Sun Dance canter/37.4.
RACE 9 (MERLION TROPHY): Wimbledon H (Duric) 38.2. Daniel (Boss) canter/38.4. Mr Spielberg (Rodd) canter/36.8. Lincoln Road H (Powell) 45. Laser Storm canter/37.5. Famous Artist H (CC Wong) canter/36.4.
RACE 10: Cactus Jack H 38.5. Mr Scorsese (Nunes) canter/36.4. Flash One (T See) 39.7. Keen Dragon H (Mosse) 37.5. Lim's Casino H canter/pace work. Montaigne H (Powell) 37.7. Pratt Street canter/36.7.
RACE 11: Lucky Lincoln H (Powell) 36.7. Smart Lad H (S Shafrizal) 36.1. Iking H (Shafiq) 36.4. Lim's Archer H (Rodd) 37.7. Storm Trooper 39.9. Chairman (Mosse) canter/36.1. Justice Grace 38.2. Lake Huka H (Munro) 39.5. Davinci 39.1. Danger Zone (David) canter/35.7.