Singapore trainer Alwin Tan may be going through a bad patch but if there was to be a silver lining, at least one horse is giving him something to look forward to – Revolution.
The smart Unencumbered colt, who was sold out of Kilgravin Lodge's 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run draft, was the former Singapore champion trainer’s only winner for the month of July.
Tan actually did enjoy a healthy first 2019 quarter with a haul of 13 winners to sit in fifth place, a spot his yard has been accustomed to over the last five or six years, but the frequency of walks down to the Champagne Room has halved since.
Despite the downward turn this time in, Tan has got a bit of a spring back in his step ahead of his pet race, the Merlion Trophy (1200m) on August 25.
Tan has earmarked progressive four-year-old Revolution as his new contender for a fifth Merlion hurrah.
Mark Walker’s Polytrack specialist Distinctive Darci will be one among Revolution’s small group of six adversaries in this Sunday’s S$100,000 Class 1 race over 1100m, a race that will also be a huge leap of class for the five-time winner, but which was necessary should Tan press on towards the Merlion Trophy for him.
“Polytrack suits him. It will be a big step-up in class but at the same time, it’s also a small field and he’s got no weight on his back (50kgs),” said Tan.
“Even though there won’t be many runners, I think there will be some pace to the race. I will tell CC (Wong Chin Chuen) to sit off the pace where he is comfortable and then sprint home.
“That’s his usual pattern as he’s got a strong finish. If he runs well, then we will set him for the Merlion Trophy.
“That race is special to me. It’s been locked away as his target for a while.”
Tan said Revolution had kept up the same condition since his last-start win in a Class 3 Polytrack speed dash over 1200m on July 19. He lumped the steadier of 59.5kgs then and steamed home under champion jockey Vlad Duric (his winning partner at his last two wins, both earned this year) to beat Elite Conquest.
“He galloped with CC yesterday. I was happy with that work, he’s pulled up well,” said Tan.
“He’s maintained his condition and fingers crossed, he can come through with the light weight. The Merlion Trophy is a weight-for-age race and will be tougher, so he must run well this Sunday.” -STC