SINGAPORE - It's high time RIKIOH gets to greet the judge, after having shown so much promise despite not having won a race yet.
From four starts so far, the Theo Kieser-trained three-year-old finished second three times and, mind you, his conquerors were all good horses.
In his only out-of-board outing, a 5½-length fifth on May 17, the winner was the circuit's star two-year-old War Affair, who captured the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe over 1,200m in a smart 1min 09.99sec.
In his debut on March 24, Rikioh charged home but just failed to beat tearaway leader Tashi by a shorthead over 1,000m on the Polytrack.
Four weeks later, the Australian-bred again produced another top run in the straight, only to find Peace No War safely home by half a length over 1,200m on a yielding turf track.
Then in his last start on July 21, he came in for inspired betting over the 1,200m on turf. This time, he found rising two-year-old Rusty Brown in his way, going down by half a length.
On Friday evening in Race 2, he will most likely shed his "bridesmaid's" tag, as he is meeting only average Restricted Maiden rivals.
Further, he is carrying just 52.5kg, compared to either 55kg or 57kg when he ran second on those three occasions.
Another plus point is that he has drawn a good gate (No. 6, but will get in to No. 5 if the first emergency acceptor Powerful Fighter does not secure a berth).
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