Four-time winner Siam Royal Orchid ticks all the boxes and looks set to notch another success in Race 3 (1pm) at Kranji today.
His form: Splendid
Rider: Three-time Singapore champion jockey and this season’s tearaway leader Manoel Nunes.
Barrier: Gate 1.
With so many pluses, there is no reason not to believe the Michael Clements-trained-and-owned six-year-old Australian-bred could not return to the winner’s enclosure.
For sure, Siam Royal Orchid looks due for another victory.
He finished a mighty second in his last start on March 19 in a similar $50,000 Class 4 race over the Polytrack 1,200m.
He lost by just a short head to the Jerome Tan-trained back-to-back winner Big Tiger.
Take note that he jumped slightly in the air from Gate 9, giving his rivals a bit of a head start.
He moved up quickly but had to race wide without cover. He also straightened up very wide.
Big Tiger had a more economical run on his inside.
In short, Siam Royal Orchid was an unlucky loser.
The duo will cross swords again. But Siam Royal Orchid should turn the tables on 11/2kg better terms for a short-head defeat.
Also, he gets pole position while his conqueror is drawn in Gate 9.
Both he and Big Tiger should slug it out again against just moderate rivals.
Not only are they in top shape – both galloped earnestly on Tuesday morning – but their race-form has also been franked.
The August and Renzo, who finished third and fourth respectively behind them, won last Saturday.
This augurs well for Siam Royal Orchid and Big Tiger.
From his inside gate, Nunes should grab a nice position for the shortest route home.
The Brazilian has been awesome this season. He has streaked to 17 clear of Australian Danny Beasley with his 35-win tally.
For the record, two of Siam Royal Orchid’s previous Class 4 victories were with 67 rating points, four higher than today’s.
This means he has the “class” to beat today’s field.
With luck, Clements should have a good harvest.
I like three others from his yard – Shepherd’s Hymn (Race 8), Celavi (Race 10) and Kassab (Race 12).
Shepherd’s Hymn, too, is knocking on the door.
The five-year-old has a second, a third and a last-start fourth in his last four starts.
The three-time victor is back to his last winning rating, 62. Nunes will also be on board.
The only setback is his wide draw in the $50,000 Class 4 race over the Poly 1,600m (3.30pm).
Champion Polytrack Horse Celavi, a short-head second to Sacred Gift in her last start, looked rock-solid in his gallop on Tuesday.
Like Siam Royal Orchid, the Group 3 Merlion Trophy winner is getting 11/2kg from her conqueror in the day’s main event – the $100,000 Kranji Stakes A race over the Polytrack 1,200m (4.30pm).
This will likely turn it around for the seven-time winner – all on the alternate surface.
Kassab has been working and trialling well for his comeback in the $50,000 Class 4 event over the Poly 1,000m (5.30pm).
Unraced since Oct 9, the five-year-old was a close second behind leading trainer Tim Fitzsimmons’ debut winner The Bullet in last week’s trial.
The way he closed in on the tearaway leader suggests he can get the job done, especially with apprentice Jerlyn Seow’s 3kg claim.