Two horses who have not won for some time signalled they are due to score again, judging by their impressive trial victories at Kranji yesterday morning.
Crystal Dragon, whose only win was in late March 2020, took the second trial with his tearaway success in a swift 59.74sec over the Polytrack 1,000m.
Circuit Mission, who has not won again after his winning hat-trick in May 2019, followed up in the next heat. Although he beat Proof Perfect by just a neck in 1min 00.20sec, his win was very fluid.
Evidently, both are coming back to hand. They should be closely watched.
Ridden by leading jockey Manoel Nunes, Crystal Dragon flew to the front shortly after jumping.
The Jason Lim-trained five-year-old showed plenty of zest, tearing away to lead by about eight lengths. He was out to win. Nunes pushed him all the way up the straight.
His rivals narrowed the gap towards the end, but the second-best horse, Quarter Back, could finish only 33/4 lengths behind.
Crystal Dragon’s win was in his second start in Restricted Terms over the Polytrack 1,100m in a modest 1:05.37. He led all the way with jockey Michael Rodd astride.
The chestnut Australian-bred gelding must have gone sour after that. He failed in his subsequent seven starts.
He was rested after his last-start fifth on July 25 last year. From yesterday’s trial, it is clear Crystal Dragon is breathing fire again.
Keep monitoring him. Should he continue to show his fiery side, it should be time to jump on the bandwagon.
The James Peters-trained Circuit Mission was one of the last to leave the stalls but cruised up pulling double on the inside for jockey A’Isisuhairi Kasim.
Ocean Crossing led, but Proof Perfect overtook him at the bend. Strong N Best moved up to third on the outside. Circuit Mission was just behind.
Proof Perfect went wide turning for home. Ocean Crossing straightened up on the shortest route home to draw level.
Circuit Mission loomed up between the pair under his own steam. He went on to beat the hard-ridden Proof Perfect by a neck.
This is a big improvement on his trial nine days earlier when he ran fourth to Katak.
The seven-year-old Irish-bred is a horse to watch now that he is hoering in Class 3.
After his hat-trick, he contested in five feature races, including the Group 1 Singapore Derby. But he was unplaced in all.
He showed a return to form two starts back on May 15 last year, finishing third to So Hi Class over 1,600m in Class 3.
Something must have gone amiss, as he was rested for 61/2 months. He resumed on Nov 27, the final day of last season, and finished a four-length fourth to Heartening Flyer over the Poly 1,200m.
A short rest after that first-up run must have done him a world of good. His mannerisms suggest he is on the winning trail. Watch him.
Yesterday’s Kranji barrier trial results:
1 Lim’s Puncak Jaya H
(D Beasley) 2 Melody Fair H (M Lerner) 3 Supernatural (O Chavez) 4 Battle Win (N Zyrul)
5 Kinabalu Prince (Y Salim)
Margins and time: Nk, 3, shd, 6 3/4 (1min O1. 00 Sec)
1 Crystal Dragon H (M Nunes)
2 Quarter Back H
(S Shafrizal) 3 I’m A Conqueror H (Chavez)
4 Starfortune (L Beuzelin)
5 Infinite Wisdom (R Shafiq)
6 Super Extreme 7 Hex Mark
8 Tavi Will Do (Lerner)
Margin l and time: 3 3/4, 1 1/4, 1, 5 1/4, 1/2, hd, 5 1/2 (59.74 sec)
1 Circuit Mission H
(K A’Isisuhairi) 2 Proof Perfect (PH Seow) 3 Ocean Crossing (Shafrizal)
4 Strong N Best (S John)
5 Paletas 6 Lim’s Passion (Beasley) 7 Legend Of The Sun (Nunes)
8 Jupiter Gold (Lerner) Margins and time: Nk, 2 1/2,
3 1/2, 2 3/4, 1 3/4, 1/2, 1/2 (1:00.20)
1 Resolution H (Shafrizal)
2 First Chief H (John)
3 Lim’s Spin H (Beasley)
4 Karisto 5 Mandrake (Lerner) 6 First Choice (Seow)
7 Gold City
Margins and time: Hd, 3/4,
1/2, 2 1/2, 1/2, 201/4 (59,62 sec)
1 Miracle H (Nunes) 2 Charger (Seow) 3 Fate To Win (A’Isisuhairi) 4 Royal Pavilion
5 Easylights (Chavez)
6 Lim’s Hopefully (Beasley)
7 Northern Star (TH Koh)
Margins and time: 1/2, 1/2,
3/4, 1/2, 2 1/4, 3 1/4 (1:00.86)