Sacred Kingdom spot on for Singapore sprint
Murray Bell in Singapore
Jockey Brett Prebble declared Sacred Kingdom in 'perfect order' after the former world champion sprinter's final gallop at Singapore's Kranji racecourse yesterday.
The 2007 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint hero went smoothly over 800 metres on the 'short course' where Sunday's S$1 million (HK$5.29 million) Krisflyer Sprint will be staged. He ran the distance in 55.2 seconds, the last 800 metres in 40.5 seconds and the final 200 metres in 12.23 seconds.
'That was just perfect - exactly what he wanted,' Prebble said after discussing the gallop with trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie and owner Sin Kang-yuk.
'He opened up quite nicely in the last 200 metres but I never really had to ask him for anything serious. It was nice work, exactly what I wanted.'
Yiu cast a discerning eye over his charge before and after the gallop and was 'more than satisfied'.
'He has settled in well to Singapore and has not taken a backward step,' Yiu said. 'All the same, this morning was an important piece of work. I wanted him to be comfortable with the reverse direction of galloping and to stretch out the same way he normally does in Hong Kong and he did that, so I'm more than satisfied.'
Later in the morning, on an outside track, unbeaten local idol Rocket Man fairly floated over his final breeze. 'Exactly what I wanted, everything's good,' jockey Robbie Fradd said.
Hong Kong's other Singapore raider, the John Moore-trained Inspiration, had a quiet morning, cantering two laps. Moore declared his satisfaction with the chestnut's condition. 'He's continued to put on weight and yesterday's gallop took nothing out of him,' Moore said. 'He's just kept improving, every day since he's been here.'
Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup hero Presvis will start a hot favourite in the S$3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup and gave the locals their one and only look at him in fast work yesterday.
Presvis worked hard against his work rider, but was also feeling the intense Singapore humidity.
Another Krisflyer contender, South African speed machine Mythical Flight, gave a good account in a solo breeze over 600 metres.
Jockey Kevin Shea said there was 'no doubt' about how Mythical Flight should be ridden. 'He's a genuine speed horse and from the wider barrier on Sunday he'll be going forward and I think he'll lead them fairly comfortably,' Shea said.
At the double
Hong Kong's challenge in the Krisflyer Sprint consists of Sacred Kingdom and Inspiration: 2