Aramco spearheads Shane's three-pronged attack in Racing Guide Classic
In-form trainer Shane Baertschiger hopes his current hot streak can continue with his trio of runners in the $125,000 Racing Guide Classic (1400m) on Sunday.
The Australian handler, who is clearly enjoying his best season since he took over his father Don in 2012, currently sitting in second spot on 53 winners, saddles Group 3 winner Best Tothelign, the up-and-comer Aramco and honest sprinter Flak Jacket in the yearly race sponsored by the leading racing publication.
Of the three runners, Baertschiger is pinning his hopes on Aramco, a four-time winner for whom he has made long-range plans towards next year’s Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m), but is not discarding the other two either, even if their tasks look more arduous.
Aramco (John Powell) in full flight at his last win on September 8, picture Singapore Turf Club
“Obviously, Aramco is my main chance. He ran good at his last race (won a BM83 race over 1400m on September 8) and has trained on,” said Baertschiger.
“The draw (13) is against him, but he get backs and JP (John Powell) won with him from a wide gate in that last win. He would also not mind a wet track; I will probably do a rain dance.
“Flak Jacket also won at his last start and has also pulled up good, but he is up in class and he’s never won over 1400m. That was the only race for him
“Matty Kellady is riding him. He knows him very well as he’s won three times with him, but he has also drawn badly (14).
“Best Tothelign is the only one to draw okay (six), but he is struggling a little bit. He is dropping in weaker grade, and I can only hope he can put up a good run.”
Baertschiger has opted for a brand new partner for the Group 3 Colonial Chief Stakes (1700m) winning son of Align (dead-heated with Order Of The Sun), Manoel Nunes.
The three-time Singapore champion jockey does not often link-up with Baertschiger, except for one horse, Elite Star, who happened to be their last winning combination last Friday.
Known to be a difficult horse to ride in the early part of his racing career mainly because of his bad habit of changing legs, Elite Star finally got off the mark at his seventh start with fellow Brazilian jockey Elione Chaves. It was actually Nunes who had been reschooling the son of Pins, but had to sit out at that maiden success through suspension.
Nunes’ invaluable help has subsequently not gone unrewarded by Baertschiger. He was aboard at Elite Star’s next three wins, including Friday’s BM67 race over 1100m.
“Manoel Nunes is riding Best Tothelign for the first time. He had no rides in that race and we had no problem putting him on,” said Baertschiger.
“He rode Elite Star a treat last Friday. It’s a horse he knows very well.”