Black Swan looking to add another feather to his cap

Trainer Steven Burridge had no reason to believe why Black Swan would not be able to measure up to the rise in class on Friday night.

An impressive close-to-six length-winner for Singapore Gold Cup-winning jockey Michael Rodd (Gilt Complex) at his last start in a Class 4 race over 1800m on Polytrack on October 20, the vastly-improved Sebring five-year-old goes over the same trip and surface but takes on the might of tougher opposition in the $60,000 Open Benchmark 67 race.

It is, however, in a small and select eight-horse field that the Masa Otani-owned gelding will attempt to frank his current brilliant form with a fourth win.

Black Swan (Michael Rodd) gapped his rivals at his last outing on October 20, picture Singapore Turf Club

Black Swan can be regarded as a late bloomer given that trio of wins was recorded at only his last seven starts in the space of five months. After he made his Kranji debut on August 9, 2015, Black Swan was still stuck with the maiden tag in 23 starts, but not without giving a peek of some potential with five seconds and three thirds.

Burridge, who also saddles Lucky Justice in the same race, thinks the real plus about Black Swan’s bid for another win this Sunday is the Polytrack.

“Black Swan likes the Polytrack. He won so well on it last time but he also picked up nine points from the handicapper,” said the Australian handler.

“He’s now up in class running against horses like Mr Scorsese and Turquoise King, Gold Faith and even my own Lucky Justice, but if he runs as well as he did the last time, I think he would be in with a good chance.

“He’s fit and well. I’m really happy with the way he has come along since his last win.

“He galloped on Saturday morning and was supposed to have had another one yesterday but the Polytrack was not good after the rain. He just did some pacework this morning and I was happy with that.”

With Rodd suspended, Burridge has engaged the services of New Zealand jockey Craig Grylls for Friday’s assignment.

The 2010 Singapore champion trainer has enjoyed a decent 2017 season with 46 winners coming in at a steady strike rate of 11.3%, with a chance of padding up the score with his fairly big team of seven and eight runners on Friday and Sunday respectively.

One of the 15 entries is actually his only November winner thus far, last Sunday’s Class 4 winner in the Lucky Last of the Dester Singapore Gold Cup meeting, Lim’s Royal, who is entered in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1600m with regular Perth visitor William Pike taking the booking.

Burridge said as there were no other races for the Rothesay three-time winner until next year, he thought he might as well have another throw of the dice this week seeing as he had pulled up well.

“There were no other races for him except for this Class 3 race over the mile. He’s won in Class 4 races over 1200m, then 1400m, so I thought it was time to test him over the mile,” he said.

“I’ll see how he goes in the next couple of days. Whether he runs or not, I’ll put him away and bring him back next year.”