Battle for Malaysia 3YO Championship begins
After his spectacular win last week, Heat 1 of the 2018 Malaysia Three Year Old Championship to be held on Penang this Sunday appears to be at the mercy of Jutsu.
Relau Star may head the list of contenders for the 1200m sprint but the question on everyone’s lip is: Just how good is Jutsu?
Jutsu (Smart Missile – Rain Shadow by Bianconi) was a clear last when the field jumped in the Novice – 1200m event here last Sunday. But the gelding was able to rapidly make up ground and was within striking distance at the top of the straight.
However, the leader Multiblue Rancho kicked clear at the 200m when Justu was still being wound up for a run in between runners.
But it’s the way Jutsu opened up in the final 100m that impressed everyone and he won drawing away by one and three-quarters lengths. He has now won both his two starts and there is no telling just how good he is.
Jutsu attracted much interest when presented at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne in 2016. The bidding ended when Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Dato Seri Robin Tan raised their hands at A$320,000.
Jutsu’s sire is by Fastnet Rock and his dam won five races from 1309m to 2000m. There is much more improvement to come from the gelding.
Robert won the re-launched Malaysia Three Year Old Championship with Aragorn last year and in Jutsu, he has an excellent chance of a repeat.
Relau Star (Captain Sonador – Shovella by Shovhog), purchased by his trainer Wong Kong Fatt for A$25,000 at the Horses In Training Sale, got his career to a brilliant start when unbeaten in his first three outings.
After three more runs, the chestnut gelding is back in form with two wins and a second in his last three starts.
In his last run four weeks ago, Relau Star easily accounted for a Class 3 field over 1200m at Sungei Besi, covering the distance in a smart 1 min. 9.5 secs. If Jutsu fails to saddle up after his taxing run last week, then Relau Star could be the one to beat.
The back-in-form Always D’Great and the unbeaten Flying Amiga should also stake a strong claim this Sunday.
Bought for just NZ$15,000 as a yearling, Always D’Great (Iffraaj – Sundown by Generous) was placed in four of his first five starts. The gelding then improved tremendously to win three of his last four runs, including a double in Cosmo D and Class 4 during the Ipoh meeting last month.
Flying Amiga (Burgundy – Centinize by Centaine) failed to find a buyer and was passed in at NZ$12,000 at the yearling sale.
But the filly has proven her ability with a hard-fought win in Restricted Maiden in her racing debut. She has not raced again since winning her next start in Cosmo D on 10 Feb. She has been kept fresh for this weekend’s battle.
Three other contenders have previous winning record.
Triple One D’Great (Beautiful Crown – Fresh Tracks by Bianconi) is a three-time winner in 14 starts but after his last victory in November, he was unplaced in four starts this year before showing a return to form with a third-place finish in Class 4 two weeks ago. The gelding was bought for just A$20,000 at the 2YO Horses In Training sale.
Ghost Bank (Dream Ahead – Maimuna by Danewin) recorded his only win in 13 starts in a Restricted Maiden event back in January and has been placed in Class 5 in his last two outings.
Snaggle Puss (Redwood – Beach Road by Kilimanjaro) won once in five starts in Singapore. But since his transfer to Sharee Hamilton in Penang, has finished down the field in three runs.
Then, there is the unknown.
Fastlane (Danehill Express – Miidaughterstorm by Stormy’s Son) and Onfleek (Dick Turpin – Aural Delight by Oratorio (AUS)), both trained by Charles Leck, are both making their debut this week.
Leck, whose Panda Bomb finished second last year after starting as the favourite, has a potential winner in Sakura Japan (Hala Bek – Kashcrop by Kashani).
The filly was beaten only a head in her racing debut in Restricted Maiden company four weeks ago.
Heat 1 of the championship this year has brought together an interesting mix of youngsters. An exciting race awaits.
Heat 2 will be held in Ipoh on 3 June and Heat 3 at Sungei Besi on 15 July. Penang Turf Club will host the Championship Final on 28 July.
For more information, please visit the respective club’s websites: