Eclipse aiming to make another Splash

Indonesian-owned galloper Eclipse Splash reaches yet another phase of his promising career when he contests the $100,000 Class 2 race over 1400m on Sunday.

Out of the placings only once since he arrived as the winner of his only Malaysian start, the Showcasing four-year-old will be aiming for a fifth win even if trainer Steven Burridge is aware the task is more daunting this time.

After his convincing win in a Class 3 race over 1400m in August, Eclipse Splash led at his next run, which was in a Benchmark 83 race over 1400m a fortnight later, making every post a winning one until he compounded late to run third to Aramco.

Eclipse Splash and A'Isisuhairi Kasim bid for a fourth win together this Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

Burridge had actually been looking for something easier for the Iman Hartono-owned galloper with the big white face, but would rather test him now than leave him in his box.

“He’s been in work all the while. It’s quite a handy field, but there was nothing much for him,” said the Australian handler.

“At the handicap, he drops in weight to 52.5kgs and Harry (A’Isisuhairi Kasim, who has ridden him at all his Kranji starts bar one) will ride him again.

“He’s a horse that has done nothing wrong since he’s come to us from Malaysia. It’s a step-up in class, but I’m happy with him and let’s hope he goes good.”

Burridge also saddles injury-plagued Hermano Menor in the same race. While the Masa Otani-owned galloper remains a day-to-day proposition, there is some glimmer of hope he can bounce back.

“After he did his suspensory in Dubai last year, he had two good runs in June, but then he did his other leg!” he said ruefully.

“I had to back him off again and it’s taken some time for him to come right. He trialled nicely last Thursday (half-a-length third to Mokastar) and I hope he can step up to the mark on Sunday.”

Current leading jockey Craig Grylls takes the ride on the five-time winner by Duporth. The Kiwi jockey got off to a flier at the Singapore curtain-raiser on Monday, booting home two winners (Satellite Winner and Hidden Promise), while Burridge himself did not go home empty-handed either, even if he had to wait till the last race on the 11-race programme.

Given a well-timed run by Michael Rodd, Conilad ($31) beat Wonderful Knight (Benny Woodworth) by a head in the Class 3 Division 1 Prosperity 2018 Stakes (1200m).

Just like Hermano Menor, the Nicconi six-year-old has been troubled by health issues, even nearly dying at his most recent setback.

“He nearly died of colic when he was with David Kok. He’s come good and has had two runs for me now,” said Burridge.

“He went quite okay at his trial (December 21) and he won a nice race last Monday. From the way he won, he seems to have come good, touch wood, he stays sound.

“Dato Terry Lee has been with us for a long time. It’s great to see him and Wade (his son who manages the Premier Racing Stable) get another winner with us.”