Group 1 action in Singapore today – the International Cup shapes as a cracker with plenty of international contribution! It’s easy to understand why as the winner takes home almost $2 million in prize money.
Last years winner Dan Excel is here to defend his crown but has to overcome some serious opposition. Drawn wide, he’ll need to use a bit of energy to get across and be up with the pace. That was a bit easier last year from a much better draw. He hasn’t shown much since his International win, albeit mostly over shorter, and a recent third in the Champion Mile behind Able Friend indicates a return to form.
Veteran Military Attack isn’t getting any younger but is still mixing it with the best. Third in this race last year, he hasn’t been in the same form lately and looks a rather dubious favourite at 2/1 here. Judged on his former best, he’ll have every chance, but it’s questionable if he’s still up to the same level.
Japanese contender Meiner Frost won his prep in last month and is clearly in form. It’s hard to know what to expect from him and how his past form compares to international standard, though. My perception is the may be found out for speed over this 1m 2f trip as he has plenty of form over further and wasn’t disgraced in last years Japanese Leger.
Freddy Head knows what it takes to win the big races. He brings over Free Port Lux. A multiple Group winner in France, He had a decent prep when 3½ lengths behind Al Kazeem last month and should come on for the run. A big, strong, scopy individual, he looks like one who will do better as a four year old.
His best forms came with cut in the ground so the likely quick conditions are a slight concern today. On the other hand his dam was a prolific fast ground performer, so it it may not be a problem after all. He has a good draw but is likely to be dropped in, so a bit of in-running luck may be required.
It’s hard to fancy anyone from the field. The local runners may not be good enough. Though French Free Port Lux makes plenty of appeal at 5/1. He could be the type to improve this year and his trainer wouldn’t make the trip if he wouldn’t believe in the chance of his mount.
Free Port Lux @ 5/1 SJ – 5pts Win