Dragon confident her team can re-Surge

Trainer Leticia Dragon may not have won a race at the first day of racing back on July 11, but she is still pleased with the way her small team of horses is coming along, hoping Surge could be the one to get her back on track this Sunday.

SURGE winning the CLASS 4
SURGE winning the CLASS 4 Picture: Singapore Turf Club

Singapore's only homegrown female trainer was actually enjoying a great start to the 2020 season before racing came under a three-month lockdown from April 7. Though she has only five winners to her tally, with only 25 runners fielded, she boasts the highest strike rate at 20% among the 27 trainers at Kranji.

While the momentum had been frustratingly snapped by that most unusual cessation of business at Kranji, Dragon feels her horses have in general come out the better for it, with Surge being a prime example.

The Exceed And Excel four-year-old won two Polytrack short sprints (1000m and 1100m) in Class 4 company before he found the competition a touch stiffer one grade up at his last run on February 29, when a creditable fourth to Siam Warrior.

"I had only two runners at the first meeting, Per Incrown and Exceed Natural, and both ran okay," said Dragon who has 23 horses on her books.

"Per Incrown ran a nice third and he's one of many of my horses who I feel have benefitted from the break.

"There was of course some uncertainty when we would restart, and it made it hard to plan, but I would say, most of my horses have come around very well.

"Surge is one of them. I entered him on that first day back, but he was first emergency acceptor in a Class 3 race over 1100m (eventually won by Nationality).

"We're just lucky that he got a spot this time."

Surge is running in the $70,000 Class 3 Division 1 race over 1200m. With customary partner John Powell currently on medical leave, Surge will be ridden by Brazilian jockey Ruan Maia for the first time.

While it won't be a stroll in the park with the likes of Beau Geste, Hugo, Filibuster and Churchill in the mix, Dragon is upbeat a fitter and stronger Surge will be more competitive this time.

"Surge is working well in trackwork. He felt very well," she said.

"His barrier trial win (on June 26) was impressive. He's a lazy horse, but he was on the bridle for most of the way and travelled well to the line.

"The other one to have come on from the break is Surpass Natural, but it'll be his first time in Class 2, it'll be tougher for him."

To be ridden by Juan Paul van der Merwe, Surpass Natural lines up in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1100m, and will take on smart sorts like Zac Kasa, Lim's Dream and My Dreamliner.

The Elvstroem four-year-old was arguably Dragon's best horse last year, reeling off a five-in-a-row before finding the opposition tougher in three bold bids at Group level, though seldom disgraced.

Singapore Turf Club