Siam Sapphire is set to resume from a four-month layoff in Friday’s S$100,000 Class 2 race over 1000m, but assistant-trainer Michael ‘Chopsy’ White said the yard did consider an even earlier racing comeback for the five-time winner (all Polytrack) in the KRA Trophy (1200m) on July 22.
With the reciprocal race between the Singapore Turf Club and the KRA being benchmarked at 95 and run at set weights of 57.5kgs, trainer Michael Clements in the end decided against entering the 81-point rater.
Clements went for Friday’s event instead as a softer approach for Siam Sapphire, even if the trip might be on the sharp side for the Pupetch Racing Stable-owned gelding.
If Siam Sapphire runs a blinder, White said the Korean return leg of the KRA Trophy, the Keeneland Korea Sprint (1200m) in Seoul on September 9, might be an option worth looking at, even if a tad ambitious.
Clements has already nominated Song To The Moon for the main event, the Keeneland Korea Cup (1800m).
“Siam Sapphire had a nice break and has come back in good shape. We toyed with the idea of running him in the KRA Trophy for a while, but changed our mind in the end,” said White.
“He wouldn’t be suited as he would have carried the same weight as higher-rated horses. It’s good that the other Class 2 race came up and we went with the easier option instead.”
Racing fitness looks to have been taken care of with three barrier trials under the belt, with the last one pleasing White no end.
“He has been trialling a fair bit since he came back, and he trialled very well last Thursday,” said White.
“The 1000m is short of his best. He would have preferred 1200m on Polytrack.
“But he’s in good shape. If he runs well, the sprint race in Korea might be a possible option, who knows. He’s a Polytrack horse and the sand there may suit him.”
It’s Wong Chin Chuen who takes the ride on Siam Sapphire on Friday.
“CC rode him in a barrier trial three weeks ago. He deserves to have a chance on him,” said White.
“There are some pretty good horses in that race, but it’s still an easier option. He loves the Poly and he may just go well fresh.” -STC