Elite Performance Stable's English import Elite Power is on a mission at Kranji tomorrow.
His trainer, two-time Singapore champion Mark Walker, is targeting the five-year-old for the $400,000 Group 2 EW Barker Trophy over 1,400m, a handicap race, on Nov 8.
Tomorrow's $85,000 Class 2 race over 1,200m is one of the springboards marked down in his programme towards his main goal at the end of the year.
The bay gelding by Sakhee's Secret has shown great consistency at his first 16 starts at Kranji, running out of the placings only twice.
He has four wins, five seconds and five thirds, and Walker felt he could have another feature-race contender in his hands.
After his last win registered at his first 1,400m test at Class 2 two starts back on May 25, the Kiwi handler knew what Group event would be locked away for Elite Power, who had actually never ventured beyond six furlongs (1,200m) in England.
Then known as Wick Powell and prepared by North Yorkshire trainer David Barron, Elite Power won three races between 1,000m and 1,200m in the UK.
This included a Listed race over 1,200m at Redcar in 2016.
However, Walker had a gut feel he could be stretched by another 200m in Singapore - bearing in mind that his charge suffered a bleeding attack at his second start.
Although that issue is now under control, Walker still tipped him out after that 1,400m win. Elite Power was brought back in trip to 1,000m first-up in a Class 2 race on July 28, running third to stablemate Sacred Rebel.
Tomorrow's outing will give Walker a better idea where he is at.
"We gave him a bit of a break to freshen up. The whole timing with him is to head towards the EW Barker," said the trainer, who is well clear in his bid for a third champion trainer's title.
"That's why we brought him back in distance and we will then step him up slowly towards the 1,400m.
"The 1,000m race first-up was more like an afterthought, as he was short of a barrier trial.
"He still ran good. He was beaten by two other horses who were better suited by the 1,000m."
Walker said that Elite Power was a horse who did have to be wrapped up in cotton wool at first, but he is now 100 per cent hale and hearty.
"He's already had a couple of preps, so it looks like he's put his bleeding problem well and truly behind him," he said.
"He's giving weight away to his other rivals, but he's drawn to get a good run. It's a small field which can be tricky, but Vlad (Duric) should be able to give him every opportunity from barrier No. 2."
Durc, who is heading for his third champion jockey's title, has teamed up with Elite Power four times, but has yet to break his duck on him.
But things could change. Duric is riding as good as ever and Elite Power is well and good.
Friday's South Africa results
1st 10 Flame Up ($14-$7)
2nd 1 Queen Of Pop ($7)
3rd 7 Kounia Bella ($51)
4th 6 Wonder Woman
Place Forecast (1-10) $4, (7-10) $56, (1-7) $92
Tierce $560 Trio $260
Quartet No winner ($748 jackpot carried forward to next race)
1st 4 Lucio ($9-$5.10)
2nd 5 Giacomo ($9)
3rd 9 Nicalex ($7)
4th 6 Bold Linngari
Forecast $8 Place Forecast (4-5) $4, (4-9) $4, (5-9) $6
Tierce $34 Trio $11 Quartet $113
Scratchings: 1 Generous Guy, 2 Fort Carol
1st 4 Dame Commander ($22-$7)
2nd 1 Vivir ($5.10)
3rd 3 Horse Haizi ($8)
4th 2 Elle Est Noire
Forecast $9 Place Forecast (1-4) $4, (3-4) $6, (1-3) $4 Tierce $54
1st 3 African Chime ($28-$13)
2nd 7 Princess Blitz ($28)
3rd 4 Winter Five ($38)
4th 5 Place Du Marche
Forecast $79 Place Forecast (3-7) $24, (3-4) $37, (4-7) $60
Tierce $883 Trio $282
Quartet No winner ($156 carried forward)
Scratchings: 2 Star Of Fairview, 11 Rebel Wilson, 16 Lady Livia
1st 1 Para Handy ($9-$7)
2nd 5 Seville ($10)
3rd 2 Afleet Flyer ($11)
4th 7 Chestnut Wild
Place Forecast (1-5) $5, (1-2) $9, (2-5) $17
Quartet No winner ($342 carried forward)
Scratching: 3 Royal Fort
1st 4 Dancing In Seattle ($19-$7)
2nd 2 Clifton Crusher ($7)
3rd 1 Alwahsh ($5.10)
4th 7 Microbe
Place Forecast (2-4) $5, (1-4) $4, (1-2) $4
Quartet No winner ($1,154 carried forward)
1st 7 Paper Town ($21-$6)
2nd 5 Ben-Hur ($7)
3rd 8 Seattle Swing ($31)
4th 4 Green Lantern
Place Forecast (5-7) $3, (7-8) $26, (5-8) $23
Quartet No winner ($2,378 carried forward)
Results of Races 8 and 9 were not available at press time. Log on to www.singaporepools.com.sg for the result.