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Trainer Clements up the Kranji stakes, Latest Racing News



There is still loads of work to do in that chase for training honours. 

But Michael Clements is not one to back down from adversity. And so, the chase continues.

Clements, who trails Tim Fitzsimmons by nine winners – 31 to 22 – going into the second half of the season, has entered a team of nine runners for the 11-race programme on Saturday.

But he holds the whip hand in the main event – the Kranji Stakes B race over 1,400m.

He has got four runners vying for the top prize in the $85,000 race and three of them graced the training track yesterday morning.

Karisto and Quarter Back went out together over 600m in 38.3sec. There was little separating them at the end of that hit-out on the Polytrack.

Clements’ other runner, Spirit Of Big Bang, did not have a galloping companion but he did not seem to mind. He covered the trip in 38.2sec.

Known for his prowess over the mile, where he has been a winner on four occasions, Spirit Of Big Bang is right where his trainer wants him to be.

Seemingly out of his depth in the high-class Kranji Mile last month, the seven-year-old was a good thing beaten last time when second to King Arthur in a Class 2 affair over 1,200m.

But there were excuses. In that race, Spirit Of Big Bang looked hopelessly lost in the early part of the sprint.

Trapped in the wilderness, he put on wings over the concluding stages and flew home to be less than a length behind the winner.

A couple more strides and it could have made the difference. He will enjoy the extra 200m on Saturday.

Spirit Of Big Bang is racing with a career-high rating of 81. 

It means he is playing with the big boys. Sure, he is seven, but he is far from being put out to pasture.

What about Karisto and Quarter Back? 

They, too, are seven-year-olds but they are as fiery as ever.

Quarter Back was having his first start of the season over the Poly 1,100m on June 18.

It was not his kind of trip and he messed up the start.

Still, he came home well to be less than five lengths behind the winner. He will be right at home over 1,400m.

Karisto has been a busy boy this year. Clements has sent him to the races five times. 

He picked up his second victory in January but has since been finding it hard getting another “1” before his name.

However, his trial on June 16 was pretty decent. He dictated things, only to lose out by a nose to Lim’s Kosciuszko.

That alone should win him some points with punters.

But the one you should really take note of in Saturday’s top sprint is Prosperous Return.

He was eye-candy for clockers who were up early and at trackside on Monday morning. They saw him work with gusto.

His camp put him through two 600m gallops. He clocked 41sec first-time out and 35sec at his second spin.

Clements has been patient with his youngster, who has raced 10 times since making his Kranji debut 17 months ago.

In that 11/2 years, Prosperous Return has, well, returned the favour. He scored five times for his owners, the Tivic Stable.

His last race was way back in February. He won – but it came at a price. Prosperous Return bled and had to be kept in cotton wool.

Nursed back to health, he passed a bleeders’ test on June 2.

Just 12 days ago, he ran a tip-top trial, finishing second to Hamama, clocking 61.09sec for the Poly 1,000m.

Prosperous Return has already won more than $200,000.

There is nothing to say, come Saturday, he cannot add a substantial sum to the pot.





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