FALSTAFF, who showed good form in Dubai when 3rd in the Dubai Sheema Classic before disappointing in Hong Kong, was out on the all-weather track this morning with his big race jockey, Barend Vorster, aboard.
Working without the blinkers he’ll sport in Sunday’s big race, he did no more than a steady canter but looked well as he did so, and appears to be on much better terms with himself than he was in Hong Kong.
Falstaff has been in Singapore for the past two weeks. Stephen Jell, under the watchful eye of Pat Shaw, has been putting Falstaff through his paces prior to Sunday’s big race.Falstaff has an ideal gate in 5 and trainer Mike de Kock, was delighted at the draw when advised by ‘phone.
Falstaff (Vorster), on the work track.
“I was talking to Patrick (Shaw) yesterday and said I would like 5 or 6.
“Now he has drawn so well half the battle is won.
“He’s not the type of horse to be pushed and hurried along at the start and jumping from gate 5 will allow him to settle where he will be comfortable, which will be around midfield.
“Based on his Dubai run (3rd) I think he has a very good chance, I am very confident he will run in the top three.
“In Hong Kong he drew badly and got too far back and was basically given no chance.
“On Sunday he has a good draw, he’s in good form and if he does run up to his Dubai run I think he can win.”
The field has a truly international flavour and includes Bowman’s Crossing (Hong Kong), who was well beaten by Irridescence in the APQEII last month, Vroom Vroom is David Hayes’ Australian contender, Japan’s Cosmo Bulk (117) is the second highest rated horse in the race, Chiquitin hails from Dubai and Godolphin have Valixir, who is the top rated horse in the field.
Godolphin’s VALIXIR, the mount of Frankie Dettori on Sunday, will be bidding to give ‘the boys in blue’ another success in this race, following the victory of Grandera in 2003.
Valixir had a good look around him as he had another steady canter on the turf track under his regular work rider Gary O’Neill, but this enigmatic character looks ready to give a good account of himself.
Disappointing in his runs in Dubai Valixir will be looking for a return to the form of a year ago that saw him post successive Group One wins in Europe, when trained in France by Andre Fabre.
The local runners are all set for Sunday with little fast work to be done before the big event.
BIG EASY and MOUNT STREET from Laurie Laxon’s yard had easy canters on the sand, while ex-Australian ZANKEL, now in the care of local trainer Desmond Koh, warmed up on the all weather track.