Brown happy with his Barker boys

Australian trainer Cliff Brown bookends the 14-horse field in the $350,000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1400m) on Friday night, but hopes to finish at least at the top end with either Poseidon or Certainly.

Poseidon is the top-weight in the handicap race on 58kgs while stablemate Certainly on the minimum weight of 50kgs will bring up the rear as they file out of the parade ring. Both “Brownies” are last-start winners.

The Olympian Stable-owned Poseidon won at his last start on October 8 for back-to-back Racing Guide Classics (1400m) while Certainly handed Brown’s apprentice jockey Nuh Komari a spectacular first career win at long odds ($391) by storming home from the ruck in a BM67 race over 1200m.

Michael Rodd was again handed the reins aboard Poseidon this Friday, picture Singapore Turf Club

While a chasm of 26 points (Poseidon is on 100 ratings points and Certainly is on 74 points) set them apart, Brown could not fault either’s condition and preparation ahead of the EW Barker Trophy.

“I couldn’t be happier with both horses. They are both fit and well,” said Brown.

“Obviously, Poseidon has the class factor. He has trained on since his last win in the Racing Guide Classic.

“The only thing is he has drawn badly in 10 – just like Certainly, who is in 11. But he’s in really good form and I expect him to still run well even if he is giving weight all round.

“Certainly gets in at a low weight on 50kgs and I expect him to run well. He will go back from the wide gate, and hopefully, he will be hitting the line late in the last 200m.”

A model of consistency (nine wins and nine placings from 30 starts), Poseidon is a six-year-old by Gold Centre – who by coincidence is the sire of one of Brown’s four Dester Singapore Gold Cup contenders, Gilt Complex - and will have last-start winning partner Michael Rodd up.

A five-year-old by Nadeem, Certainly will have apprentice jockey Amirul Ismadi (who flies to Tasmania for a three-month riding stint on Monday) atop for the first time. The Auric Stable-owned gelding is more of a miler, but boasts wins over 1200m at two of his five wins.

Should Certainly win, he will hand Auric Stable’s Jerry Sung a second win 24 years after he captured the inaugural edition with the Teh Choon Beng-trained Storm (Kim Clapperton). The Olympian Stable has not won a Group race yet.

Brown could not knock his duo’s form, but does respect the opposition which he said had plenty of upsides in their ranks.

“It’s a competitive field. There are some good horses like Twickenham, Aramco and Affleck, but my two horses can put it together against those,” he said.