Weight can stop a train but trainer Donna Logan hopes it does not stop royalty when King Arthur takes on some of Singapore’s best Polytrack sprinters in the $100,000 Class 1 race over 1100m on Sunday.
At the handicap conditions, King Arthur has been allocated the top impost of 59kgs – four-and-a-half kilos more than Lucky Jinsha at 54.5kgs – and a whopping nine kilos more than half of the field on the minimum weight of 50kg.
In Sunday’s case, allowances from claiming riders will come into play – jockey Yusoff Fadzli will claim two kilos off King Arthur and a few others will do the same – but regardless of what relief the I Am Invincible five-year-old gets, he will still carry more weight than all.
It is a weighty problem for Logan – who is fresh off winning the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) with January last Saturday – but one she accepts for the highest-rated horse in her stable.
“Yes, it’s getting hard for him,” said Logan of the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable-owned gelding who won seven races last year.
“Too hard really giving weight to so many good horses, but it is what it is.
“We will claim two kilos with Yusoff but I know a few of the others are claiming too, especially those on the minimum (weights), so we are giving plenty of weight to some nice horses.
“(Recently crowned 2022 Singapore champion Polytrack horse) Lucky Jinsha is a Polytrack specialist, so he obviously looks super at the weights and the hardest to beat. Sky Eye is also in very honest form.”
But regardless of the pull in weights, Logan thought that King Arthur can win from barrier three and a good run in transit.
“I still think he’s a better horse on the turf but he knows how to win on the Polytrack,” explained the Kiwi conditioner.
“He kept Lim’s Kosciuszko – who is a star – honest at weight-for-age conditions in the (Group 3) Merlion Trophy (1200m) on the Polytrack (ran second on February 4) and that form holds up here.
“We also nominated him for the ($150,000 Group 2) EW Barker (Trophy) next Sunday, but we would have been giving pretty much the same weight relief – and no claims allowed – at the handicap conditions against some real up-and-coming horses over 1400m.
“So for a little less prizemoney against a smaller field with a claim, it was a no brainer to go for this race on Sunday. It’s a winnable race.
“He is fit and had a nice gallop on Saturday. Yusoff won’t get into a speed battle early and he will ride him where he is comfortable. In saying that, the Polytrack has been resurfaced recently and I think it will pay to be on the pace.”
While Logan – who has enjoyed a very good start to the 2023 season with 11 winners to sit fourth on the trainers’ log – thinks King Arthur is her best chance on paper, she also hopes thats Entertainer can return to form in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1200m.
“I’m really happy with him,” she said of the Zoustar six-year-old.
“He got out of his comfort zone with his rating when it got in the high seventies and low eighties. It (the rating) is starting to get to a level (73 points) where he can be competitive again.
“While he has only won on the Polytrack (eight wins from 20 starts), he’s got a good record over this trip on the turf (three placings from eight starts).
“Yusoff will ride him and barrier two helps his cause. I think we will see improvement.”
And in good news for followers of the stable, January, Luxury Brand and Knippenberg – who finished first, third and fourth in the Singapore 3YO Sprint – all came through the race in terrific order.
“Fantastic,” reported Logan.
“All three horses ate up back at the stables and I couldn’t be happier with them heading towards the (Group 2) (Singapore Three-Year-Old) Classic.”
The Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic (1400m) is the second leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge series and it will be held on April 29. The series culminates with the Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1600m) on May 20.
– Singapore Turf Club