Impressive debut winner I’m A Conqueror will attempt to keep the brilliant start going in Sunday’s S$75,000 Novice race over 1200m even if he will be at his first Polytrack test this time.
David Hill’s assistant-trainer Jason Lim said the Alamosa four-year-old has kept improving since his two-length win in an Open Maiden race over 1200m on turf on February 3, but the switch to the other surface was the only unknown factor.
“It’s his first time on the Polytrack. He seems to handle it quite well in his work and trials, though,” said Lim.
“But a race is different, and we’ll have to see how he goes on Sunday. Otherwise, the horse is in good form.”
Ridden by Saifudin Ismail on debut, I’m A Conqueror reproduced the gate speed he showed in his trials with a flying start to go all the way, relegating Ocean Crossing to second place by two lengths.
Overall, he didn’t really beat much that day, and with the likes of Mo Almighty and the rather consistent Toosbies among Sunday’s cattle this time, Hill and Lim know they can’t be too complacent.
“It’s a stronger field, but my horse has been training well and galloped well since his last star. He trialled around one month ago,” said Lim.
“He didn’t pull up all that great after the win. He didn’t finish his feed, but he’s come right in the end.
“His racing manners have also improved. He was unsettled in the beginning, but he’s a lot better now.
“All’s well with him. He will have one last gallop tomorrow.”
With debut winning partner Saifudin Ismail suspended, Hill has called upon Australian jockey Ben Thompson for the steering duties. The pairing do have one winner together in the shape of Money King on March 10.
“Ben Thompson will ride him as Saifudin is suspended. The horse will have the same equipment as the last time he won, a tongue-tie,” said Lim.
“He’s a forward horse with plenty of speed. In time to come, he will be going up to 1400m, but I’ll keep him to sprints for now.”
Thompson was of course delighted when Lim rang him for the ride on I’m A Conqueror.
“Straight after Saifudin was suspended, Jason called me and I’m of course thankful to him and the owners (Great Conqueror Stable) for the support,” said Thompson who brought up a riding double over the weekend, coincidentally both coming in the Lucky Last for Donna Logan – Golden Flame (Friday) Ironside (Sunday) – to hit the dozen mark at Kranji.
“I watched his previous runs. He’s a horse with good speed and makes his own luck in front.
“As a rule, any horse who can do that on the synthetic surface will be hard to beat. He seems well-placed in that race on Sunday.” -STC