In-form jockey Danny Beasley hopes Preditor can frank the form resurgence that nearly saw the relatively new pairing pull off a surprise win at the old stager’s last start at Kranji.
Trainer Shane Baertschiger booked the Australian rider on the Savabeel eight-year-old in a Kranji Stakes A race over 1600m on March 23.
The instructions went against the grain of Preditor’s customary get-back racing style – go forward given the lack of pace in the race, and steal a march around the home turn.
Preditor (Matthew Poon) at the peak of his powers when he claimed the 2018 Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy on August 12, 2018, picture Singapore Turf Club
Beasley actually has first-hand knowledge Preditor does have some toe when required. He rode the gelding only once and that came at his early Kranji racing career in 2017 – the same year Beasley ended his riding career before making an unexpected comeback this season.
Uncannily that day, Beasley rode Preditor in an identical positive manner when they broke from the same barrier five, before Nazir and Groenewegen came gunning him down inside the last 100m.
Four years on, the 2021 rendition could have been a perfect remake except for Makanani tearing away to a massive lead down the back.
Preditor did all the bullocking work to bring the runaway mare back before striking the front at the furlong pole, but despite his brave run, Sacred Croix and Sincerely swamped him in the shadows of the post, denying him of a win that had dodged him since the 2018 Group 3 Jumbo Jet Trophy (1400m) when he came with a barnstorming finish under Hong Kong prodigy Matthew Poon to nut out none other than champion galloper Debt Collector.
Beasley received a second endorsement for the ride on Preditor in this Saturday’s $85,000 Kranji Stakes B race over 1400m. While the tactical change almost paid off last time out, Beasley said a repeat feat would be a taller order, even from barrier one.
“Shane knows the horse so well. He saw there wasn’t so much speed at his last start and thought the best thing would be to go forward,” said Beasley.
“I had to dig him up but he showed enough speed to get the lead until the mare came around us. He is a very versatile horse.
“I haven’t spoken to Shane yet, but we’ll have to take a good look at the field. Horses like Passport To Rome, his stablemate, and Augustano both have a lot of speed.
“We’ve drawn one, so maybe we may take a drop into the box-seat this time, and hopefully, he can finish it off, but I’ll wait for Shane to tell me what to do.
“He’s dropped to a Kranji Stakes B and carries a big weight (59.5kgs), but I’ve gone through his form, and he’s carried big weights in Class 2 races.”
Preditor is one of three entries for Baertschiger in the Group 1 Kranji Mile (1600m) on May 22, the other two being 2019 Singapore Horse of the Year I’m Incredible, who has been struggling to regain his form of old and King’s Command, who on 59 points, is 33rd on the order of entry.
Beasley, however, said his rides on Preditor are on a race-by-race basis. Sun Marshal, who is now trained by Desmond Koh following Lee Freedman’s recent exit from Singapore, is at this stage his first cab off the rank for the invitational race which will be run as a domestic Group 1 for the second year running due to COVID-19.
“I have first refusal on Sun Marshal for the Kranji Mile. He’s working really well and should make his comeback on Lion City Cup day,” said Beasley.
The 2019 Singapore Derby winner is slated to run in the Class 1 race over 1600m on April 24.
“Dessie has a new horse named Sun Power, but I think he may run out of time to make it for the Kranji Mile. He can still be a Derby (July 25) runner,” said Beasley.
Known as Power Scheme in Australia, Sun Power, a son of Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, was trained by David Hayes and won four races between 1500m and 1700m, all at city tracks such as Flemington and Caulfield.