Infantry's start in Raffles Cup under a cloud after leg cut

Panasonic Kranji Mile winner Infantry has suffered a minor injury which has suddenly put him in a race against time to still get a run in his intended next assignment, the Raffles Cup.

While the mood in the Alwin Tan camp was understandably buoyant shortly after the Tavistock five-year-old landed the Group 1 Panasonic Kranji Mile (1600m) on Sunday, first-up since his Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) win back in July, frowns soon surfaced when it was found out he came back with a deep cut to his near hind fetlock.

Tan had made no secret even before the Kranji Mile win that the yet-to-be conquered Singapore Triple Crown series was Infantry’s target, but with that untimely setback, the second Leg, the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1800m) on October 22 now hangs in the balance.

Infantry (Manoel Nunes) runs through the pain barrier to land the Panasonic Kranji Mile on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

The 2016 Singapore champion trainer is, however, not giving up on seeing the classy Thai-owned galloper still recover in time.

“Infantry got a bad cut in the Kranji Mile. It is probably a horse behind him that tripped on him,” said Tan.

“It goes to show what a big heart he has. Another horse would have lost the race with such a cut, but he endured the pain and still gave it 100% to win.

“The leg is now bandaged up. I’ve done everything I could to treat it, and fingers crossed, he can still make it for the Raffles Cup. I’ve still got hope.

“But if he misses out, he will still head for the Singapore Gold Cup (over 2200m on November 12). I will just have to freshen him up and work him more on the endurance.”

Tan was also happy with his second Kranji Mile runner Nova Strike, a closing seventh after jumping from a wide barrier. While the Red Giant five-year-old may not be as classy as his stablemate, Tan may consider him as a standby replacement in the Raffles Cup.

“I was very happy with Nova Strike’s run in the Kranji Mile. He was drawn wide but he still ran well,” he said.

“He prefers better ground than the yielding track on that day, but he still handled it quite well.

“To me he’s a miler, but maybe he can go over slightly longer. I will have to discuss with the owner (Nova Racing Stable) if we will run him in the Raffles Cup.

“One race we are definitely looking at for him is the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) in November (10).”

Another Nova Racing horse who has given Tan renewed hopes in him after going through a bad patch of form is Nova Swiss. The Swiss Ace four-year-old was one of the revelations at Tan’s premiership-winning season last year but has won only one race in seven starts this year.

His last run when a fighting second to Countofmontecristo in a BM97 race over 1200m on August 28 could be a telltale sign he is back to his best.

“Nova Swiss ran very well at his last start and has pulled up very well,” said Tan.

“Unfortunately, there are no suitable races for him at the moment. Hopefully, he will be running soon, on Polytrack, not turf.

“In the meantime, I will trial him next Tuesday.”