A colder ride could do the trick for Silent Is Gold, says Gray

Silent Is Gold is a leading chance in the G3 Kranji Sprint. Photo: STC

Trainer Stephen Gray believes that Silent Is Gold has strong claims in the $70,000 Class 3 race over 1200m on Saturday and he has bigger plans in store for him after that.

The four-year-old son of Star Turn rarely runs a bad race, even if he only won three times in 12 starts thus far, including a second behind the smart Golden Monkey in the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) in June last year goes to show that he has more than his fair share of ability.

In terms of racing pattern, his on-pace racing style is one of his biggest assets, but it had also turned into his Achilles’ heel of late.

However, Gray suggested that an easier run in transit on the back of a likely hot early pace on Saturday could do the trick for the Buddy Buddy Stable-owned gelding.

“He’s often taken on up front, which has made him a sitting duck,” said Gray on Thursday.

“We got taken on and did work on the pace at his last start (in a Class 2 race over 1200m on February 25) and (trainer) Jason’s (Lim) horse (Super Salute) got him.

“When we took a sit at his previous start (in a Class 3 race over 1200m on February 12), he got held up the whole straight.

“But there is a lot of pace in this race and from the good gate (barrier four) (jockey) Ronnie (Stewart) should be able to get a breather in running and hopefully, he can show his best – which is good enough – when it matters.

“We look well-in with 56.5kgs too and while General Command looks a nice type and is the one to beat, we should have every chance.

“He (Silent Is Gold) deserves a win – hard to fault him when he picks up a cheque every time he runs – and it (a win) would also give him confidence going forward.”

Regardless of the result, the upcoming plans for Silent Is Gold would be a crack at the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) on April 22 before a tilt at the Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) on June 11, with the step-up in trip ideal, according to Gray.

“The way he runs (on pace), I think the 1400m will be good for him now,” continued the Kiwi conditioner.

“He can still travel like he does but there will be less pressure early over seven furlongs.

“The EW (Barker Trophy) would be ideal at the handicap conditions and then we will definitely have a look at the Silver Bowl as we know that he is competitive at any level.”

The Silver Bowl is the first Leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge series, which is followed by the Group 2 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) on July 2, and culminates with the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m) on July 23.

Stewart – who has ridden Silent Is Gold eight times for two wins – agreed with Gray on both his chances on Saturday and the 1400m going forward.

“The race on Saturday maps well for us,” said the multiple Group 1-winning jockey.

“We should be able to take a sit and he showed two starts back that he can settle okay now. My only concern that day (when Silent Is Gold finished fifth to Super Salute on February 12) was that he didn’t take the gap when it opened. He was a bit timid.

“So my aim is to settle him but keep him in running, so he can have a fair crack at them. It’s a good field, but I think he is good enough.”

Of the step-up to 1400m, Stewart suggested a more mature Silent Is Gold would give a better showing than what he did at his only start at the trip when he ran fourth behind Golden Monkey in the Group 2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic in July last year.

“He’s certainly a more mature horse than last year,” he continued.

“I think he is still learning but 1400m should allow him to relax. He is more versatile too, so we could have options over more ground.”

By Larry Foley, Singapore Turf Club

Author: iRace