Kranji was treated to a regal battle in Friday’s S$80,000 Class 3 race over 1400m when Kingsman held court over King Louis.
Both horses were vying for the crown but their paths to their coronation could not have been more diametrically opposite.
The better-fancied Kingsman was in the first five throughout and though he had to cart out wide at the top of the straight, he enjoyed an uninterrupted run to the line for champion jockey Vlad Duric.
On the other hand, King Louis looked like he just could not find his way out of trouble until kingdom come.
After being settled at the rear by Nooresh Juglall, the Medaglia d’Oro three-year-old was improving quite well but was poleaxed after he ran into dead ends at the two furlong pole. It’s only after he switched across heels that he found daylight, but by the time Juglall had him balanced up for his assault, Kingsman had already reigned supreme.
Singapore champion trainer Mark Walker was not on hand to lead in his fourth winner for the year as he was still in New Zealand to attend the Karaka Sales, but his right-hand man Gus Clutterbuck was and he sure gave the Darci Brahma four-year-old a big wrap.
“It was a nice win. He’s only a small horse and to do it with 57 kilos on his back, it was a huge effort,” said the Kiwi horseman, himself a former trainer in his own right back home.
“The fast pace did set it up for him, but he also got flushed out at the top of the straight.
“We’ll have to look for a race where he will be down in the weights.”
Duric said Kingsman was a lovely individual who appreciated the sting out of the track on Friday.
“He loves the track. He is not super big but he has an engine,” said the Australian jockey.
“He was relaxed and had a lovely run in transit. I knew I had the race won from a long way out.
“The penny has not dropped for this horse. He will keep improving.”
Kingsman has now taken his record to two wins from five outings for stakes earnings edging close to the S$100,000 mark for the Te Akau Racing Stable.