Panda Bomb (Phenomenons – Riverside Lass by Noalcoholic) heads an elite field of three-year-olds in the RM200,000 Malaysia 3YO Championship Final to be run over 1200m at Selangor Turf Club this Saturday, 15 July 2017.
The Australian gelding finished third in the first heat in Ipoh on 21st May, before winning the final and third heat at Sungei Besi on 25th June.
Panda Bomb goes into the final with a record of three wins, one second and one third from six starts.
But he will face two formidable opponents in Aragorn and Porsence.
The Cecil Robert-trained Aragorn (Manhattan Rain – Class Apart by French Deputy), unplaced in two runs in Australia, has won twice in six starts in Malaysia and he was third to D’Great Effort in the second heat in Penang on 11th June.
Aragorn was bought for A$130,000 as a yearling and his dam was a listed race winner Down Under.
Porsence (Publishing – Porsha by Perugino) won the first heat in Ipoh on 21st May and has gone on to pick up another win in a Novice event on 11th June.
The Australian gelding, trained by Stephen Cook, is well tuned-up with already eight runs under his belt, managing two other placings.
The only two other finalists with a win to their names are Tarzan Boy and D’Great Spirit.
Sharee Hamilton-trained Tarzan Boy (Swiss Ace – Tarred N’ Gold by Manntari) contested the heats twice, finishing fourth in Penang and was second to Panda Bomb at Sungei Besi.
The New Zealand gelding has been a model of consistency, finishing out of board only once in eight starts, but often luckless as he has found one to beat on five occasions.
Tarzan Boy has pedigree on his side. He is a half-brother to Oil Town Captain (by Captain Rio), who won four races in Malaysia, and Only One (by Al Akbar), who registered five wins before taken off the active list.
D’Great Spirit (Walking Or Dancing – Flying Attitude by One Cool Cat) will be Frank Maynard’s only hope in the Championship.
The Australian gelding raced twice in Australia for a third and his trainer has skipped all the three heats with his charge.
D’Great Spirit finished third in his first two runs in Malaysia, and after an unplaced start, won a Maiden event with a handy 49kg on his back. He will, however, carry 7kg more in this Sunday’s set-weight event.
The only other candidate with any sort of form is Mirotic (Nom Du Jeu – Broadway Miss by O’Reilly).
After finishing fourth in his debut, he ran third to Panda Bomb in the third heat three weeks ago and will be trainer Jerome Tan’s sole representative in the Final.
The aim of staging the Malaysian Three-Year-Old Championship after a lapse of two years is to boost the horse population, making racing more competitive across the board and in feature races. This will in turn generate greater interest and increase the turnover.
The winner this Sunday will join an elite band of horses to be declared the Champion 3YO in Malaysia. Previous winners were Colin The Firth (six career wins), Ghost Street (five wins) and Black And White (14 wins).