While the David Kok-trained Red Dot has yet to win on the turf track in Singapore, he would still have plenty of admirers in the $70,000 Class 3 race (1400m) on Saturday.
In four starts thus far, the Lucky Stable-owned gelding scored two wins on the Polytrack, but back in the United Kingdom where he won twice, one of his victories came on the turf over 1609m in September 2022.
Another positive was that the Irish-bred six-year-old ran fourth at his only run in a Class 3 race (1400m) on the turf here, which was won by Cavalry on 8 July.
Cavalry subsequently finished second to Golden Monkey in the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) on 23 July at his next start, so the form from that Class 3 race has more than held up.
Red Dot has been in good form recently too. After a slick win in a Class 4 race (1000m) on 30 December, the son of Dandy Man dominated in a recent trial where he won in the time of 1 min 0.57secs on 18 January, seemingly ‘cherry-ripe’ and ready to show his best, regardless of the surface come Saturday.
“The turf is not a problem for him,” said Kok.
“I looked at his form in the UK and his turf record was good enough, including a win. His run on the turf for (previous trainer) Desmond (Koh) showed he handles the surface at Kranji.
“I think Class 3 isn’t a problem either. He won easily at his last start, which showed he is better than Class 4.
“But that win was over 1000m, so my only query is the 1400m journey against some very good horses on Saturday.”
Those good horses include two other last-start winners, the Hong Kong-bound Silo and the Donna Logan-trained Trident, but Kok thought if Red Dot can settle early for apprentice jockey Clyde Leck, he could have a big say in the finish.
“My horse is very strong and that could cause Clyde some issues as he gets him to settle,” explained the Ipoh-born conditioner.
“Look at his last trial. He (Red Dot) was full of beans and Clyde had to work hard to hold him, but he (Leck) is a strong rider, knows him well and won on him the last time.
“His (Leck) one-kilo claim also helps. If he can take a sit behind the good early speed, we should have some in the tank and see out the seven furlongs.
“I can’t fault my horse, but the opposition would be a good test. Trident and Silo looked like the two horses to watch in this strong Class 3 field.
“If Red Dot can run well against these oppositions, it will give us options on both surfaces going forward.”
Kok also has Real Effecto in the nine-horse field. While Red Dot is a question mark over 1400m, his stablemate will not have such issues.
“He (Real Effecto) needs longer, but there’s not a lot of suitable races for him at the moment,” explained the Singaporean handler.
“He was freshened up after his last run in the Group 3 race (fifth to Bestseller in the Colonial Chief Stakes on 2 December), but he would still find this too short.
“But if the race is run to suit backmarkers, we know he will be strong late and he had good records in Class 3.
“He gets a one-kilo claim from (jockey) Amirul (Ismadi), but he will be better over longer for sure.”
Kok has six other horses declared for Saturday’s 11-race meeting and thought Pacific MV was one to watch in the Lucky Last; a $50,000 Class 4 Division 2 race (1100m).
“His best races had been over this distance,” said Kok of the four-year-old grey gelding by Headwater.
“He’s drawn wide (in gate nine) but (jockey) Vlad (Duric) will ride him, so that’s not a problem. He jumped from gate 12 when he won (in a Class 4 race over 1100m on 16 September) too.
“It’s a good race. There are a few horses in good form, but we look to have a chance.”
– Singapore Turf Club