Back from a four-month layoff, talented but unpredictable performer Olympic Anthem (StarCraft x Fire Song) will be teamed up for the first time with current leading apprentice jockey Troy See on Friday night.
With regular partner Michael Rodd riding Constant Justice, trainer James Peters had to look elsewhere. Vlad Duric and Glen Boss are suspended while Nooresh Juglall, who won on Olympic Anthem before, could have been an option but he is sticking with exciting three-year-old Nowyousee.
Peters then thought of See for the six-time winner (1000m to 1100m) even if he very seldom uses the Singaporean apprentice jockey.
“We’re a bit short of riders at the moment. I could not find any senior rider and then I thought of Troy,” said the Englishman.
“He’s ridden in a few gallops for me and I remember he won a race for me at my first year (Royal Easter).
“But more to the point, Troy is a rider with great hands and I think his riding style will suit Olympic Anthem.”
The Starcraft seven-year-old, who was sold for $150,000 from Trelawney's 2012 NZB draft, is indeed not the most straightforward horse at Kranji. He is the sort of galloper who will take a power of beating when on song, but can just as well put in a shocker when things go awry.
Like the day he copped a bump that set him off on a wayward run on the outskirts of the track before he had to be eased out by Rodd after his bit pulled through to one side.
Peters of course prefers to remember Olympic Anthem for his better side, more particularly on April 1, 2016 when under Juglall’s guidance, he gave the young English trainer his first success at his very first day at the office.
In 13 more starts since, mainly at Kranji Stakes A or Benchmark 97 level, the China Horse Club-owned Polytrack expert has won two more races with Rodd back in the irons. The trademark finish was there at times, but overall, Olympic Anthem struggled against the elite.
Peters felt it was time for a break after his last race, a Kranji Stakes A race over 1000m on October 20 when eighth to Nova Swiss, whom he will bump into again in Friday’s S$125,000 Kranji Stakes A (1100m).
“He went for a break after his last race and has come back good. We took our time with him,” said Peters.
“He had a nice freshen-up and had just the one barrier trial last week. He trialled very well (second to Nowyousee whom he will give 15 pounds to on Friday).
“The other problem is it’s hard to find a Class 1 race over 1000m-1100m, there aren’t too many around. We will just need to place him somewhere as we go along.” -STC