Racing: Positive despite 'unlucky' draw

Racing: Positive despite 'unlucky' draw

He may have drawn wide into the unfavourable barrier 13, but trainer Michael Freedman knows that Super Ninetyseven will still be running with a target on his back.

All eyes in the 14-horse field will be trained on the four-year-old gelding, who is the favourite for Sunday's $1.35 million Longines Singapore Gold Cup.

Coming into the annual contest held at the Kranji racecourse, Super Ninetyseven exhibited great form to clinch his first Group One victory in October's $500,000 Raffles Cup (1,800m) race.

But Freedman understands the pressure that comes with being the race favourite and was quick to play down his chances on Thursday at the barrier draw.

Said the Australian, whose other horse Tropaios took barrier 12: "I am rather happy with my horse but you can never be too confident.

"I'll be very happy to win but I don't take too much notice about what everyone else says."

Drawing into barrier 13, regarded as an unfavourable position as it is second farthest from the rails, did not worry him too much.

Noting that his horse, who will be ridden by Alan Munro, favours running from behind, the trainer said: "I'm happy enough. The closer to the rail the better, but he tends to race back in the field."

At the Raffles Cup, with Munro astride, Super Ninetyseven was the last to leave the stalls and ran the start of the race in second-last position.

Though he was a dozen lengths behind the pacemakers, the gelding launched an outside run at the final bend to win by 11/4 lengths.

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