War Affair draws wide again in Singapore Triple Crown

After War Affair drew wide in the first two Legs of the Singapore Triple Crown series, Lady Luck again eluded the Triple Crown chaser at Wednesday’s Post Position Draw ceremony for the last Leg, Sunday’s $1.35 million Group 1 Longines Singapore Gold Cup (2200m).

While jockey Danny Beasley was still upbeat about the O’Reilly four-year-old’s chances at pulling off the historic feat, some of his rivals could suddenly see their chances take a bit of a hike, especially given the trip is unchartered territory for Alwin Tan’s champion galloper. More secret rejoicing was probably felt when second fancy Quechua also drew off the track.

While a race is not won at the barrier draw but on the track, it is perfectly legitimate for some quarters to be pleased with either their own luck or when any of their perceived rivals are less fortunate.

Among the trainers who had the rub of the green and could afford to have more gilt-edged dreams this Sunday was trainer Laurie Laxon. Despite saddling a staggering team of six, the eight-time Singapore champion trainer still ended up with more smiles than disappointments. Magical Talent drew the short straw, but it may be immaterial as he is a reserve while Martin, the get-back customer, has drawn the next worse in 10. His four main chances will all jump closer to the starter Damien Kinninmont than the Grandstand.

If there is one camp who was blowing hot and cold after the draw, it is no doubt Team Shaw. Second-elect Emperor’s Banquet drew the coveted inside alley, but standardbearer Quechua and old stager Lizarre will be out on a limb on the outer.

But spare a thought for title defender Tropaios and trainer Michael Freedman, a habitual double-digit puller. Though the French import has struggled to recapture the form that saw him score a devastating come-from-behind triumph in the Gold Cup last year, he has slowly been peaking to his best, but the widest berth in the starting stalls does put a dent on his hopes, even if he normally drops back.

Still, that rollercoaster of emotions has only just begun and won’t stop until that shiny trophy is held aloft sometime after 6pm on Sunday.

WAR AFFAIR – Barrier No 14

Trainer Alwin Tan was not on hand at the ceremony, and connections were obviously a little deflated with barrier No 14, but jockey Danny Beasley was still finding a positive spin from the wide draw.

“That’s okay. It’s good that we’ve got Quechua and Lizarre on his outside,” said jockey Danny Beasley.
“I think that it’s good we have the horse we can give the most respect (Quechua) on our outside and Lizarre drawn in 16 as that will give us two good horses to follow.”

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