SINGAPORE - Pre-race favourite Alibi has been handed a tough draw ahead of Sunday's $1.15 million Emirates Singapore Derby.
At the post-position draw on Wednesday afternoon (July 5) at Chinatown Point, Alibi's trainer Michael Clements drew barrier 11 for his New Zealand-bred stallion.
Alibi is seeking to become the first horse to sweep all three legs of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge. He had captured the first two legs, the $300, 000 Steward's Cup over 1,400m and the $500, 000 Patron Bowl over 1,600m earlier this year.
Trainer Michael Clements acknowledged that the draw was less than ideal but played down its effect on his galloper's chances for the weekend's Group 1 race over 2,000m.
"It is what it is. Over 2,000m, the barrier doesn't play that big a part that it might do in a shorter distance race. The horse is doing extremely well. I couldn't be happier with the way he has come through," said the 51-year-old handler.
While this will be Alibi's first attempt over 10 furlongs, jockey Glen Boss remained confident that the distance would not faze the seven-race winner.
The Australian said: "He's an up-and-coming horse in a pretty commanding position right now. He's won both legs and people tend to forget that.
"In the Patron's Bowl, he looked the winner for a big majority of the race. He's got such a will to win. The distance is query but there are a lot of the other horses who are in the same boat.
"Whether he can see out the trip, we will find out on Sunday I guess but who's to say that he cannot stay?"
Other leading contenders Infantry and Lim's Cruiser drew gates six and nine respectively.
For local trainer Desmond Koh, who won this race in 2012 with Chase Me, the draw went well. His dark horse Sun Hoplites drew barrier eight.
He said: "Sun Hoplites is a long shot in the race. We need the luck and eight is a lucky number."
Post position draw results:
Barrier 1: Preditor
Barrier 2: Guru Guru
Barrier 3: Mr Scorsese
Barrier 4: Magstock
Barrier 5: Justice Fair
Barrier 6: Infantry
Barrier 7: Lim's Samurai
Barrier 8: Sun Hoplites
Barrier 9: Lim's Cruiser
Barrier 10: Excellency
Barrier 11: Alibi
Barrier 12: Nova Strike
Barrier 13: Absolute Miracle
Barrier 14: Elite Excalibur
Barrier 15: Song to the Moon