Meeting Preview, selections, comments and odds, courtesy Larry Foley, kranjiracing.com
The fourth meeting of the new season and, remarkably, still no sign of the champion Jockey or Apprentice from 2020.
And while the cats are away the mice will play and it’s no surprise that it’s Ruan Maia making all the play in the senior ranks.
The Brazilian has seven wins on the board - probably a few less than he would have liked given the rides - and will be hoping to add handsomely to that tally on Saturday.
But while most his rides look solid each-way hopes with the Maia presence hopefully the winning edge, his two maiden mounts - SUPER PINS and ZAHAU - do look hard to beat in races two and four respectively.
In the apprentice ranks it is young Kamaruddin Hakim who is making the early play with four wins on the board in 2021 and the hard working 3kg claimer has solid rides in most races and is always worth following.
Like Maia, most of Hakim’s rides look each-way chances but GOLDEN FLAME looks very well placed in race 3 and may be value.
In the trainer’s ranks, it’s not a case of who is missing but who will be missing with news that Cliff Brown will join Lee Freedman in heading back to Australia by March.
Both finished in the top four in the Trainer’s Premiership in 2020 and the movement of their horses in the next month or two will play a big part in shaping the 2021 rankings.
Watch this space!
Update - Ruan Maia rides at Kranji for the last time on Saturday after taking up a contract with the HKJC - Vlad Duric is currently recovering from a throat infection and expects to be back riding next week.
Best Bets: (SACRED GIFT race 8, win), (STRONG N BEST race 5, value), and (DIAMOND MINE race 7, value).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 7 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 13), race 8 (1), race 9 (2, 3, 4 and 9), race 10 (1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 12).
Race cards and Larry Foley's synopsis follows and for updates on all runners go to www.kranjiracing.com
Please note the odds listed are "reference odds" only.
Selections; 1 BEAR WITNESS - 2 CENTURION - 10 SAYONARA - 3 KING ZOUSTAR
Another tough opener for punters with most having some show on recent or best form and the tote will be a good guide on stable confidence. Starting from the top, BEAR WITNESS showed last start he wins in Class 5 sooner than later and the step up to 1400m looks ideal. Likewise, KING ZOUSTAR is due and this trip could see a result, while CENTURION drops to Class 5 and he must be a winning chance stepping up in trip and onto the turf. Cliff Brown has two runners that are in form and while FIREWORKS won last start, SAYONARA has drawn the better gate and looks the pick with Chavez up. The honest AWESOME CONQUEROR, TAKHI with Maia up and the first emergency, TIGER LEAP, just three more that in without surprising. Betting Strategy - look for value on the day, BEAR WITNESS win.
1 BEAR WITNESS *** Found one better last start when dropping to Class 5 but gets his chance over 1400m. 3.00
2 CENTURION *** Drops in grade, steps up to more suitable trip on turf and goes close. 12
3 KING ZOUSTAR *** In form, handles the turf and can win with handy claim. 6.00
4 SATURDAY ** Lame last start after tough run on pace but can lead here and give a sight at odds. 20
5 AWESOME CONQUEROR *** Hard to fault honest form and always an each-way hope. 9.00
6 TAKHI *** Only battled last start but gets blinkers and can win on form prior in similar races to this with Maia a factor. 6.00
7 BIG DAY * Needs to improve. 100
8 FIREWORKS *** Gate a concern but hard to fault form with both wins this trip. Keep safe. 6.00
9 OUD WOOD * Maiden who gets blinkers added and having first start in Class 5 but needs to improve. 50
10 SAYONARA *** Lame last start so happy to forgive and can win on 1400m form prior. 8.00
11 SMOKE AND MIRRORS * Disappointing when dropping to Class 5 last start and have to take on trust. 50
12 CIZEN BOSS ** Nothing last start but appreciates being back on turf and gate 1 helps. 20
13 TIGER LEAP *** Maiden who will win a race like this sooner than later. Follow. 8.00
14 BOOM SHAKALAKA ** Only battled when resuming but can give a sight if right on the back of a good trial. 33
Selections; 1 SUPER PINS - 3 JUST STARS - 4 YES ONE BALL - 2 SHOWBOUND
SUPER PINS may have struggled on the turf last start but happy to think he is hard to beat in this Maiden field on the back of some nice trials. Yes, he does have 59kg to carry but with Maia up from gate 1 back on the Poly, it may be a case of whoever beats him wins. The danger could be the very honest JUST STARS who is obviously due and blinkers added to his gear could see a well-deserved result with a 3kg claim from gate 2. Of the rest that can win in a race that lacks depth, SHOWBOUND did it tough enough last start to think he can have a say in this finish, while YES ONE BALL backed up his last start placing with a good trial so he comes under notice, although the wide gate will test. You can almost forget the rest but PHAXE and NEW GARDEN have recent placings to their names. Betting Strategy - SUPER PINS win.
1 SUPER PINS *** Freshened after a poor turf showing but hard to beat here on trial form with gate 1 a bonus. 2.00
2 SHOWBOUND *** Did it tough before finishing in the place mix last start and worth another look. 6.00
3 JUST STARS *** Very honest and gets blinkers added. Can win. 4.00
4 YES ONE BALL *** Drawn wide and beaten a long way into third last start but recent trial good enough to have a say here. 6.00
5 KING MIDAS * Battling away and gate doesn't help. 33
6 LEGGENDA * Respiratory issues last start but easier to ignore as a rule. 33
7 SUPREME HAPPINESS * No. 100
8 FAIRY'S WING * Has pace but will be found out late. 100
9 SILVER SWORD * Shown glimpses and gets blinkers but easier to ignore. 50
10 PHAXE ** Battled away in a weak one last start but can include in skinny end of exotics from gate 3. 20
11 NEW GARDEN * Nothing last start but placed prior in albeit a weak race. 20
12 NINETYSIX WARRIOR * Nuisance value only. 100
13 BARBARIAN * Battles away manfully but needs to find more to have a say here. 33
14 QIJI FLYER ** Coming off a shocker but gets upgrade to blinkers and can include in exotics. 20
Selections; 2 GOLDEN FLAME - 9 IRONCLAD - 10 THUNDER - 7 WHISTLE GRAND
An intriguing race with plenty of winning hopes and given the depth and support likely for a couple of the more obvious picks, there should be value on offer. GOLDEN FLAME may be a value option (we hope) after an unplaced run but that was in the rain and his form prior has him winning races like this with Hakim a good booking. IRONCLAD is another that could get out to an each-way quote and he comes under serious notice three runs back from a spell stepping up to the right trip and turf, while THUNDER had excuses not to finish closer last start and could get up at odds. The obvious pick is WHISTLE GRAND who is in terrific form and it may be a case of whoever beats him wins, while SACRED JUDGEMENT can open his Singapore account on the back of his good recent form. WILD BEE and MERYL first up after a Guineas campaign just two more that can win. Betting Strategy - GOLDEN FLAME each-way.
1 EASY DOES IT ** Disappointing dropping to Class 4 last start but should be better than that so keep safe. 20
2 GOLDEN FLAME *** Happy to forgive last start (jockey suggested didn't handle wet track) and can win in what is a suitable race. 6.00
3 WILD BEE *** Ran on well to be in the place mix last start and knows how to win so pay to keep safe. 6.00
4 MERYL *** Resuming. Disappointed in the Guineas but previous form good enough for this with best work expected late. 6.00
5 SACRED JUDGEMENT *** Yet to win in Singapore but appreciates first-up run and is due. Keep safe with 4kg claim. 6.00
6 GENTLEMEN AGREEMENT ** Hasn't handled wet track at two recent runs so can consider if no rain about with blinkers back on. 20
7 WHISTLE GRAND *** Hard to fault form and looks the benchmark in what is a suitable race. 4.00
8 STAR EMPIRE * Freshened and could run a cheeky race at odds. 33
9 IRONCLAD *** Form starting to read badly but appreciates two Poly runs this campaign and will improve lengths on the turf over 1400m with tongue-tie off. 12
10 THUNDER *** Could have finished closer when running on last start and could easily show up over 1400m. Value. 12
11 EASTIGER ** Took a drop to Class 5 to win but should be competitive on that form. 20
12 MARIKH * Has been disappointing at two starts in Class 4 since maiden win and looks a risk. 33
13 CRYSTAL SIXTY * Could run a very cheeky race from gate 2 but needs to show more. 33
14 CHALAZA ** Race suits, recent trial OK and could be value with best work expected late. 33
Selections; 1 ZAHAU - 5 GOLD KINGDOM - 4 BLITZ POWER - 7 HIGH LIMIT
There are two things to like about ZAHAU in this Class 5 Poly mile. The first is that being US-bred, he obviously handles the Poly (as shown last start) and the second is that the form from his last start placing has more than held up. For good measure, he also gets a tongue-tie and Maia won't hurt his chances and he should be hard to beat at his first run in Class 5 Company. Who beats him? There are quite a few horses that are due and have form in similar affair to this and GOLD KINGDOM should be handier in running from a better gate and he showed enough late last start to win this, while HIGH LIMIT showed the mile was no issue last start and he should make the running and give a sight. BLITZ POWER is also due and in his favour he gets blinkers added to his gear and it will pay to keep TIGER FORCE, VESONTIO and both emergencies in exotics. Betting Strategy - ZAHAU win.
1 ZAHAU *** Maiden who improved at first Poly start and step up to mile suits with tongue-tie off. Can win. 3.00
2 STAR EFFECT * Always some show in Class 5 but drawn wide and Poly a query. 20
3 TIGER FORCE ** Just fair last start when dropping to Class 5 but jockey did suggest issues so worth another look. 20
4 BLITZ POWER *** Has looked due, gets upgrade to blinkers and will be strong late. Keep safe. 8.00
5 GOLD KINGDOM *** Never got involved till late last start but better drawn here and should figure with one eye on the market. 5.00
6 FLYING YELLOW * Freshened after a poor run of form and prefer others. 33
7 HIGH LIMIT *** Made the running and fought hard to hold onto second last start and this trip and happy to follow. 6.00
8 MILIMILI * Battles as a rule but stable in Poly form. 33
9 TRAVIS * Maiden whose best run was in Class 5 but gate will test over the mile. 33
10 ANGEL HALO *** Drawn wide but in the mix in similar affair last start and worth thought. 6.00
11 VESONTIO ** Tough to follow but won two back and handles the Poly so keep safe. 12
12 RICH FORTUNE * Blinkers off but battling. 50
13 ZYGARDE ** Broke maiden status in a weak one last start but should be competitive in this field. 12
14 ZOFFSPEED *** Did it tough before winning last start this trip and happy to follow. 6.00
Selections; 5 QIJI STAR - 8 DON'T TELL TILLY - 1 VALENCIA - 7 STRONG N BEST
It's a case of punter beware in this maiden with question marks over most and the market could be a good guide on some of the improvers. QIJI STAR looks the most honest of the winning hopes and while only battling away on the Poly last start, he goes well for Hakim and 1400m on the turf looks ideal on form prior. SUN COUNCIL and VALENCIA both have more good runs than bad under their respective belts but SUN COUNCIL is having his first start on the turf and VALENCIA is resuming after a long break so market best guide. Maia on DON'T TELL TILLY may even start favourite given she did it tough when placing last start and gets Maia, while STRONG N BEST and CITY HALL both can improve on what they showed last start, which would have then involved late. Add numbers 3, 4 and 6 to exotics in what could be a raffle. Betting Strategy - STRONG N BEST each-way.
1 VALENCIA *** Resuming after pulling up lame when missing a place at start four. Can win on form prior sans blinkers on the back of a good trial. 4.00
2 SUN COUNCIL *** Having first start on the turf but found form and should figure prominently throughout. 4.00
3 PASIR PINJI ** Resuming after placing at odds. Worth some thought with market best guide. 12
4 CRU BOURGEOIS ** Tough to follow but has shown glimpses and could show up with a positive ride. 12
5 QIJI STAR *** Battled away last start on the Poly but two runs this trip on turf prior has him right in this. 8.00
6 FOUNTAIN OF FAME ** Honest type who needs to find a length or two to be a threat. 12
7 STRONG N BEST *** Drawn wide and form reads only fair from two starts but gets winkers and will work home strongly on the back of a good trial. 20
8 DON'T TELL TILLY *** Had excuses to fade last start and effort to place was very good. Can win with softer run in transit with Maia a factor. 4.00
9 TILSWORTH SYDNEY * Battling. 33
10 CITY HALL *** Improved effort when blinkers went on last start and pay to keep safe. 20
11 MARCUS ANTONIUS * Prefer others. 50
12 KANTHAKA * Didn't need the wide gate. 50
13 SHINE ALMIGHTY * Not for me. 50
14 DAWNING GOLD * No. 50
Selections; 3 SHEPHERD'S HYMN - 1 LUCK OF MASTER - 12 CIRCUIT STAR - 5 ROYAL PAVILION
A more wide-open race you will not find and you can make a case for most horses with value sure to be on offer. Looking for an edge, SHEPHERD'S HYMN is in form and gets the upgrade to blinkers so can win with Beuzelin up from gate 3. LUCK OF MASTER had a crack at Group Company two back and won the last time he was in this grade so he wins without surprising, while down in the weights, CIRCUIT STAR might be a good value option given he had some in hand last start and just missed at his start prior. If winning form counts for anything, SPECIAL OPS could start favourite and while he has an extra 4kg to carry, a hat trick would not surprise and ROYAL PAVILION is always a winning hope when a race is run to suit back-markers. Add WIND TRAIL, HARD TOO THINK and CLARTON TREASURE as three more that can win on form and go as wide as you can in exotics. Betting Strategy - look for value, LUCK OF MASTER each-way.
1 LUCK OF MASTER *** Last win this trip, track and Class and will find this easier than recent outings. Goes close with downgrade to winkers. 5.00
2 WIND TRAIL *** Only battled away in similar affair last start but always come hope in this Company. 20
3 SHEPHERD'S HYMN *** In very honest form, gets blinkers added and hard to hold out with gate 3 a bonus. 4.00
4 SPECIAL OPS *** Backed up Maiden win with good Class 4 win - both over the mile - and can go on with the job although 4kg extra to carry. 6.00
5 ROYAL PAVILION *** Found form on the turf over the mile and will be working home strongly again. 8.00
6 GLOBAL KID ** Nothing last start and yet to win in Singapore but always looks some hope. 20
7 SUN HOLIDAY ** Broke overdue Maiden status last start but pay to follow as usually in the mix. 12
8 HARD TOO THINK *** In form, recent trial good and will figure late with Maia a factor. 10
9 MOLINEUX ** Can be tough to follow but placed last start over 2000m and can consider. 12
10 CLARTON TREASURE *** Won in Class 5 last start but did it easy and was more than competitive in this Company prior so worth following. 20
11 GOLD REWARD ** Wide gate will test but backed up Class 5 win with a solid placing in Class 4 and a must for exotics. 20
12 CIRCUIT STAR *** Looked to have some in hand last start and just missed two back. Can win with winkers to visor. 12
13 LARRY ** Start costly and disappointing last start but race suits and could improve at odds. 50
14 STAR JACK ** Form starting to read baldy but 1800m suits and another improver at odds. 20
Selections; 2 DIAMOND MINE - 1 BALOR - 3 OUR SHOWCASE - 4 FOREVER GOOD
Another race fraught with danger for punters and the tote has to be the best guide on the day. But two horses at the higher end of the ratings in BALOR and DIAMOND MIND get blinkers added to their respective gear and both can win without surprising in a race that suits. FOREVER GOOD and SMILING PROUD have recent winning form to their names and should figure, while OUR SHOWCASE worked home well last start so 1400m looks ideal. NADEEM SAPPHIRE and VOLUNTAD for exotics only and forget the rest with the exception of the first emergency - CIZEN LUCKY - who can win he gets a start. Betting Strategy - small win DIAMOND MINE.
1 BALOR *** Ran on well to place over 1200m last start so extra trip helps and gets blinkers. Keep safe. 5.00
2 DIAMOND MINE *** Doing enough late to think Class 5 form better than it reads and can win with blinkers added over 1400m. 5.00
3 OUR SHOWCASE *** Worked home well late last start and 1400m on turf suits. Goes close. 5.00
4 FOREVER GOOD *** Disappointing last start but gate 3 helps and can win on form prior. 5.00
5 SMILING PROUD *** Won well on a wet track last start but had looked due in similar affairs and worth following. 5.00
6 NADEEM SAPPHIRE ** Impossible on race form but recent trial good enough to keep safe with blinkers added and Maia up. 12
7 VOLUNTAD ** In solid form and will figure the exotic mix. 12
8 EVIL SPEEDO * Freshened after poor run but won on Poly last preparation. Would need support. 33
9 NATE'S HONOUR * He's no Fyfe. 50
10 LIM'S RHYTHM * Freshened after two poor runs but form prior was promising. 33
11 VICTORY JOY * No. 50
12 CLARTON SUPREME * Maiden who battled last start and needs to lift. 33
13 CIZEN LUCKY *** Excuses and ran on very well last start. Can win on the back of a good trial. 5.00
14 NINETEEN GLORY * No. 50
Selections; 1 SACRED GIFT - 6 RADIANT SUCCESS - 5 IT'S GOT IT ALL - 2 MAN OF MYSTERY
Plenty of speed in this Class 4 Poly dash but while the like of IT'S GOT IT ALL and LONHRO GOLD will give a sight, SACRED GIFT looks the one to beat. The 5YO has drawn just outside the two speeders in gate 3 and Woodworth will get the gun run just behind the leaders and down in grade and over his pet trip, he will be very hard to hold off. In saying that, IT'S GOT IT ALL just missed in a busy go in a similar affair last start so has to be respected from gate 2, while the likes of MAN OF MYSTERY and SILKINO haven't fared as well at the gates but are always some show in races like this on best form. It will also pay to watch a newcomer from Australia in RADIANT SUCCESS who has shown enough at the trials to think he has a future in Singapore and RIVER ROCA has found winning form in Class 5 and could be value. Betting Strategy - SACRED GIFT strong win.
1 SACRED GIFT *** Drops in grade and drops to suitable Poly trip. Hard to beat fresh on the back of a good trial. 2.00
2 MAN OF MYSTERY ** Drawn wide and disappointing last start in similar fair but gets claim and can win on best form. 12
3 SILKINO ** Did plenty of work last start from wide gate and barrier will test again but could give a sight. 20
4 SURGE ** Another who battled in similar affair last start but has trialled well since and can consider with tongue-tie on. 12
5 IT'S GOT IT ALL *** Speedster who just missed in very busy go last start and drawn better for this. Keep safe. 8.00
6 RADIANT SUCCESS *** Former Australian who arrived with an honest record in moderate company but local trials have been good enough to consider at Kranji debut. 7.00
7 TOOSBIES ** In the exotic mix last start and expect much the same on the back of a good trial. 12
8 LONHRO GOLD ** Another speedster drawn to advantage and should figure for a long way. 20
9 SNIP * Improved effort last start but like to him back that up before considering. 33
10 CALCULATION * Needs to improve on recent form. 50
11 THOMAS DE LAGO ** Battled from wide gate last start but could work home with softer run in transit. 25
12 RIVER ROCA ** Finally found winning form in Class 5 and worth thought in exotics with no weight. 12
13 TOM CAT ** Resuming after retuning dry coated last start. Has first up form so keep safe. 12
14 STUNNING CAT *** Resuming after bleeding attack. Always some hope in races like this. 12
Selections; 9 LIM'S CRAFT - 2 FAME STAR - 4 NOWYOUSEE - 3 GRAND KOONTA
An intriguing Kranji Stakes A turf sprint and with no standout, it may be arguably the best turf sprinter in the race - FAME STAR - who can bounce back into the winners circle. The 6YO hasn't won for close to 12 months but his first run after a change of stables was good enough to think he has more to offer and is worth serious thought sans blinkers with a handy 3kg claim. He does have a wide gate to overcome but so does GRAND KOONTA and NOWYOUSEE who look suited at the race conditions to show their best and both can win with senior riders in their favour. But the horse that may beat them all is LIM'S CRAFT on the quick back up. The 5YO won two back in this Company before an eye-catching run in Class 2 - both over 1400m - but with no weight from a fair gate, he should play part at the business end. Keep YOU ROKK, CHURCHILL, MAGIC WAND and SURPASS NATURAL safe in what is an open race. Betting Strategy - FAME STAR each-way.
1 SURPASS NATURAL ** Better on the Poly but a recent turf run was good and claim helps. 9.00
2 FAME STAR *** Gate a concern but backed up good run with nice trial and trip suits sans blinkers. 4.00
3 GRAND KOONTA *** Could make excuses for unplaced efforts at two recent starts and goes close on form prior. 6.00
4 NOWYOUSEE *** Drawn awkwardly but found form and placed in the Lion City Cup this trip and track. Goes close. 6.00
5 YOU ROKK ** Usually seen on the Poly but will work home strongly if race run to suit. 20
6 MY DREAMLINER * Prefer on the Poly. 33
7 CHURCHILL ** Disappointing last start but drawn better here and could play a part. 20
8 MAGIC WAND ** Gate a concern but showed last start he is up to this Company so pay to keep safe. 10
9 LIM'S CRAFT *** Backing up after eye-catching effort last Saturday and can figure from better gate. 4.00
10 SALAMENCE * Resuming. Recent trial solid and drawn the ace but prefer to watch at this level sans blinkers. 33
11 ARC TRIUMPH * Prefer on the Poly. 33
12 SO YOU TOO * Placed three back in easier Company but tough to follow and easier to ignore. 20
13 SPECIAL KING * Resuming after a long break. No. 100
14 WATCH OUT BOSS ** Up in Class but in form and worth thought with no weight. 12
Selections; 1 ADIPSON - 7 LUCKY IMPERATOR - 12 METAL WORLD - 3 IMPERIUM
Some extremely tough form lines to go on in the lucky last with a couple of the chances having recent Group 1 runs under their belts and some of the other fancies coming off unplaced runs but in atrocious conditions. LUCKY IMPERATOR is one that we can put a line through his last start failure in very heavy rain as his form prior has him winning races like this. Of those that will find Class 4 a lot easier than Group Company, ADIPSON ran in the Derby two back before pulling up lame on the Poly and 1400m on the turf looks ideal on the back of a good trial. Down in the weights, METAL WORLD (nee YOU QIAN ZHUAN) ran in the Guineas two back and Novice Company last start and his Class 4 form prior has him having a big say with no weight. INHERIT is another Class dropper that improves lengths, while last start winner, IMPERIUM, and MANDRAKE first up have to be considered. Betting Strategy - ADIPSON win.
1 ADIPSON *** Resuming after pulling up lame on Poly last start. Will win in this Company and trip and track suits. Keep safe. 5.00
2 INHERIT *** Nothing at two recent runs but will find Class 4 more to his liking and must be respected. 12
3 IMPERIUM *** Hard to fault recent form in similar affairs and can carry an extra 3kg and win again. 4.00
4 MAGNIFIQUE * In solid form on the Poly but may be tested over this trip on turf. 33
5 MANDRAKE *** Resuming after tough run over 1800m. Can seriously consider on form prior. 8.00
6 SUPER SMART ** Gate a concern but looked to have some in hand last start and will work home late at odds. 33
7 LUCKY IMPERATOR *** Coming off a shocker but in a downpour so can forgive. Big show on previous form. 5.00
8 UNIVERSAL EMPIRE * Did nothing when resuming after long break. Showed ability earlier and recent trial was good but may be better on the Poly. 50
9 PER INCROWN ** Took a drop to Class 5 to win but was competitive prior in this Company so pay to keep safe. 12
10 BARBEQUE * Only battling this campaign but recent trial suggests he can improve. 33
11 FROM THE NAVY ** Ran on solidly in heavy rain last start and placed start prior this Company. Worth thought. 8.00
12 METAL WORLD *** Late You Qian Zhuan. Freshened after Guineas and Novice runs which had merit. Love to see in Class 5 but can win with no weight. 8.00
13 OUR PINNACLE * Resuming after bleeding attack. Wide gate suggests another day. 33
14 STORMY VIEW ** Won two back this Company over 1200m and ran on well last start in driving rain. Worth a look. 12