Placais confident Super Fortune will peak for big test

Jockey Olivier Placais looked a bit subdued after progressive sprinter Super Fortune ran third in a barrier trial on Tuesday, but the Frenchman remained bullish there was still room for improvement until his next major assignment on Dester Singapore Gold Cup day next Sunday.

The former Sydney galloper has been an instant hit at Kranji with three wins from four starts, all over 1200m and the last two at Class 3 level. On a personal level, Placais has developed a strong bond with the Mossman four-year-old trained by Alwin Tan as he handed him his very first win at his first day back from a three-month suspension on July 14, his national day.

The step-up to the Kranji Stakes A race over 1200m may feel like a quantum leap for the former one-time Kembla Grange winner (1400m) for Warwick Farm-based French (interesting Gallic connection there) trainer Louis Baudron when known as Man To Love, but Placais said he had to be tossed in with the big boys at some stage.

Super Fortune (Olivier Placais) returning from his barrier trial on Tuesday, picture Singapore Turf Club

“He’s won two Class 3 races, and he had to take on the better horses eventually. It will be a big test for him in a Kranji Stakes A race,” he said after the barrier trial.

“After his last win, he did nothing for 10 days and we’ve slowly brought him back to race fitness.

“The horse is well. I would say he has maintained his form even if I thought he would win today’s trial.”

After a smart jump, Super Fortune sat on the inside of trial leader Pole Paradise (Derreck David) looking to be travelling within his own steam. Turning for home, Super Fortune gave the distinct impression he could edge past Pole Paradise, but struggled to get past.

In the end, the pair were upstaged on the outside by the better-finishing Affleck (Craig Grylls) with Super Fortune 1 ¾ lengths astern in third spot.

“It was the plan to give him a barrier trial two weeks before his next race. Last week, I gave him a nice sprint over 400m; when he saw his stablemates in front of me, he lengthened up once I slipped some rein,” said Placais.

“He was coming into it quite well but at the 150m, he seemed to be a bit flat, like he could not find another kick.

“It was still a good hit-out and he will come on from that. I’m sure he will be a lot fitter at his next gallop.

“Whether he can measure up next Sunday will depend on whether he can fight against these horses. I’ll have to see who’s running.

“Put it this way, I still think he can run well, and I would be disappointed if he doesn’t finish in the top four or he runs badly like eighth or something.”