Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
English import Elite Power is running in Sunday’s $85,000 Class 2 race over 1200m, one of the springboards marked down in his programme towards his main goal at the end of the year.
With the Sakhee’s Secret five-year-old having shown great consistency at his first 16 starts at Kranji, running out of the placings only twice (four wins, five seconds and five thirds), champion trainer Mark Walker felt he could potentially have another feature race contender material in his hands.
After his last win registered at his first 1400m test at Class 2 level two starts back on May 25, the Kiwi handler knew what Group event would be locked away for the Elite Performance Stable-owned galloper – the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m), a handicap race on November 8.
Elite Power had actually never ventured beyond six furlongs in England. Then known as Wick Powell and prepared by North Yorkshire trainer David Barron, he won three races between 1000m and 1200m in UK, including a Listed race over 1200m at Redcar in 2016.
However, Walker had a gut feel he could be stretched by another furlong in Singapore, even if at first, he had to be tentative given his bleeding attack after only his second start.
Even that issue is now under control, Walker still tipped him out after that 1400m win. He was brought back in trip to 1000m first-up (Class 2 race on July 28), running third to stablemate Sacred Rebel.
Sunday’s outing will give Walker a better idea where he is at.
“We gave him a bit of a break to freshen-up. The whole timing with him is to head towards the EW Barker,” said the two-time Singapore champion trainer who is well clear in his bid for a third title.
“That’s why we brought him back in distance and we will then step him up slowly towards the 1400m.
“The 1000m race first-up was more like an afterthought as he was short of a barrier trial. He still ran good.
“He was beaten by two other horses (Sacred Rebel and Darc Bounty) who were better suited by the 1000m.”
Walker said that Elite Power was a horse who did have to be wrapped up in cotton wool at first, but he is now 100% hale and hearty.
“He’s already had a couple of preps, so it looks like he’s put his bleeding problem well and truly behind him now,” he said.
“He’s giving weight away to his other rivals, but he’s drawn (two) to get a good run. It’s a small field which can be tricky, but Vlad (Duric) should be able to give him every opportunity from barrier No 2.”
The two-time Singapore champion jockey has teamed up with Elite Power four times, but has yet to break his duck on him.