New Singapore partnership set for a rocking good time
It will be a late night for members of the new Singapore partnership but trainer Stephen Gray reckons Rock Me Easy and Miracle Time are worth staying up for.
Rock Me Easy, who races at 11.50pm tonight, and Miracle Time who runs an hour later at 12.50am, are two of a three-horse package recently put together by Lincoln Farms.
Shares in the pair, plus Burgundy four-year-old Cru Bourgeois, are now held by Aucklanders Bevan Jones and Dennis Ebert, Australian Greg Goodman and the Excell syndicate, a group of 10 primarily Hunua-based women who are already enjoying racing pacers with Lincoln Farms. They join existing owners Lincoln Farms and its business manager Ian Middleton.
And Gray says it won’t be long before the group sees a return on their investment with all three horses showing promise.
Rock Me Easy, a four-year-old by Wellfield Lodge’s stallion Road To Rock, steps out in the second race at Kranji tonight on the back of a very impressive trial win on the course 10 days ago when he came from the tail of the field to win his heat, under a hold, claiming Miracle Time by three-quarters of a length near the line.
Rock Me Easy, ridden by last season’s champion jockey Vlad Duric, carried 70kg in the 1000 metre heat on the polytrack, 15kg more than Miracle Time and 5kg more than any other rival, and was never out of second gear.
Under instructions from Gray, Duric snagged Rock Me Easy straight to the rear, wanting to teach the horse to settle.
“In his first start he went a bit keenly (right in behind the speed) because we made use of his good draw.
“He’s inclined to think he’s Winx and rip into it.’’
Duric reported that after being a little fresh early the horse settled beautifully.
“He balanced up nicely around the corner and when I came out in the straight he quickened down really nicely.
“He’s still a bit green, he throws his legs around a bit, but there’s definite ability there. He’s got a nice motor and he’s going to win a few races.’’
Gray really liked the way Rock Me Easy got to the line in the trial and says it mirrors the improvement he has made in recent months.
“He’s done really well and has developed into a really nice horse. Mentally he’s settled down and physically he looks fantastic.
“He’s going to win quite a few races, especially over 1600 metres and 2000 metres as he’s a natural staying horse with a turn of foot.
“He’s probably one run away from getting it all together. He may need another race where he’s made to settle.
“But if he doesn’t win on Friday night he won’t be far away.’’
Singapore Turf Club selectors have Rock Me Easy on top, however, declaring: “He looked good when finishing off his winning trial under a tight hold and there is quite a bit of ‘dead wood’ in the contest.’’
Alamosa four-year-old Miracle Time, who lines up in the fourth event, is also among the club’s top four picks:
“He’s drawn to get a nice run from barrier two and with clear running in the straight, don’t be surprised to see him run a cheeky race.’’
Miracle Time, who has raced twice for a sixth and fourth (when he edged past Rock Me Easy late) meets a few runners with more form but Gray tips he’ll run well.
“I’d be having a sneaky dollar each way on him. He’s come up really well and, while there’s massive improvement still in him, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the finish.
“I’ve got a couple of others in the race who go well (Mai Darko and Military Chairman) but he has a good rider on in Daniel Moor and he’ll get every chance from a good draw.
“If he doesn’t win this week, he’ll win his next start.’’
Cru Bourgeois, an impressive runner-up on debut last November, could race next week.
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Friday night at Kranji
Race 4: Darci’s Boy
6.50pm NZ time
“It will be too short for him - he’s a miler - but it was the only race for him. If he can get up outside the leader, he’s a small chance but he won’t be as fresh as the other day.’’
Race 8: O’Reilly’s Dancer
8.55pm NZ time
“We’re using this as a trial because he needs the run. He doesn’t handle the polytrack and he’s coming back to 1800 metres. We went forward on him last time but we’ll ride him quieter on Friday and see if he can handle the track.’’
News in brief
ROCK ME COUGHING: Trainer Stephen Gray didn’t pay up for Rock Me Easy to race this weekend as planned after the horse coughed a couple of times following his gallop on Tuesday. He is being treated with antibiotics and should be OK to run in three weeks.
MOONLIGHT WANES: A veterinary exam of Lincoln Moonlight failed to find anything amiss after he ran only sixth, four lengths from the winner on Friday night. The horse blundered on jumping, had to be eased off heels soon after, then was forced to race three wide throughout. Rider Matthew Kellady reported the horse raced keenly and tired noticeably in the run home.
SO LONG SAINT: Saint Lincoln will be sold to Malaysia after bleeding for the second time. The five-year-old won two of his 14 starts in Singapore for earnings of S$45,911.
MORE RAZZ: On The Razz enjoyed a roll in the sand before showing his first bit of sparkle at Kranji, running on well from last at the 300 metres to finish seventh. The 1000 metre trip was far too short for the son of Magic Albert, who is out of a Zabeel mare, but he is being fitted for a 1400 metre event in January.