Meagher not rushing to raise Target

Trainer Daniel Meagher has made the concerted decision to put a four-kilo claimer on Target as the American-bred makes his bold bid for four wins on the bounce on Friday, but is aware the mission still remains a tall order.

After a mixed run at his first prep, the War Front five-year-old has really hit his straps this year, stringing up three wins in a row – all over 1700m on Polytrack, graduating from Class 4 Non Premier to Kranji Stakes C company.

The Thai-owned gelding is this time running in Kranji Stakes C company, which is not much different from the one he beat at his last start, but a couple of variables will mix things up a little this time.

Rising apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong takes the ride on Target this Friday, picture Singapore Turf Club

“The 59.5kgs put us off this time. Bossy (Glen Boss) rode him fantastic at all his three wins, but I had a good talk with Krit (Chisatteni, owner of Falcon Racing No 7 Stable) and we decided to put Simon Kok on to offset that big weight,” said Meagher.

“Simon rode a winner for the owner recently (Dixieland Rock) and that helps with the confidence. Then the horse drew badly (widest in 14) but there’s nothing we can do about that.

“The four-in-a-row is a tough task but in saying this, he’s well placed in Friday’s race. Those Kranji Stakes race tend to suit top-weighted horses to some extent.”

Meagher said that Target may be no world-beater but a well-orchestrated run of astute race-planning was the key to his recent purple patch.

“He’s come a long way to where he is. We put him in the right races at the right time,” he said.

“He’s improved a little bit with every run and we’ve given him every chance to go through his races.

“We’ve given him a freshen-up since his last run (April 22 in a Kranji Stakes C race over 1700m) as there were no races for him. It’s done him a world of good to have a let-up as he’s been racing a fair bit in the last six months. They can’t keep going.

“The mile first-up will suit after eight weeks. His fitness level is good, he trialled well last week and I’m very happy with him going into that race.”

Whatever the outcome of his race on Friday, Meagher said he had not really plotted a more ambitious path for Target given his propensity on Polytrack – unless proven otherwise.

“If he can handle grass, then we may aim him towards better races, but it remains a question mark,” said Meagher.

“He’s won all his races on Polytrack, but he may have to run on grass if we want to take him to another level at some stage.”