SINGAPORE - If you missed having a wager on Mexborough Boy when he won last month, don't feel too bad. There's always his next start and, if he can reproduce the form he showed in his trial on Tuesday, another win looks on the cards.
Okay, Mexborough Boy did not win his trial on Tuesday. His stablemate, Yin Jie did - if only by a nose. But you should have seen him power down the outside. He was like a freight train gone wild. Two more strides and Yin Jie would have been beaten.
Here is how it panned out.
Tzar, Yin Jie and Super Bonus were out of the gates like hounds from hell. Indeed, after they had cleared just 300m, Super Bonus had opened up a five-length lead on Yin Jie and Tzar. Where was Mexborough Boy?
He was lolling in the rear - some six lengths behind the second-last horse. If I didn't know that it was a trial, I would have thought he out for a pleasant canter.
Anyway, he was still last when they reached the top of the straight. By then, Super Bonus had come back to them. Yin Jie took over and kicked clear. Only then did Mexborough Boy come into the frame.
From his spot on the outside, he charged down the stretch and almost caught the winner.
Yes, we haven't seen the best of this two-year-old who is trained by Theo Kieser. His last-start win was only his fourth Kranji start. He finished third to Rappor in his debut and, in May, he ran third to War Affair in a 16-horse race. Watch him when he next faces the starter. Everything points to him greeting the judge - again.
Trial 1 (ORT):
1 Rite Of Spring (M Nunes) 2 Brahms & Liszt (R Shafiq) 3 Aero Wings Junior (TR Barnabas) 4 Rock Show (J Moreira) 5 Future Show (R Hasri) 6 Hot Aristocrat (J Powell) 7 Master Dragon (M Zaki)
Margins & Time: 1, ½, nk, ½, 1¼, ¾ (1min:03:43sec).
Hot Aristrocrat had a good jump. However, he was held back and that allowed Rite Of Spring and Future Show to take over as pacesetters.
Then came Brahms & Liszt and Rock Show. Aero Wings Junior was next, together with Master Dragon.
Clearing the 600m and Rite Of Spring continued to lead. He had company. Hot Aristocrat was on his inside while Future Show kept putting on the pressure on his outside.
Well into the straight and Rite Of Spring had a fight on his hands. Aero Wings Junior loomed up as did Brahms & Liszt and Future Show. But, to his credit, Rite Of Spring hung on to win a hard trial.
Trial 2 (ORT):
1 Our River Dancer (Shafiq) 2 Confidence (O Chavez) 3 Intention (Powell) 4 Faaltless (M Kellady) 5 Golden Dragon (Barnabas) 6 Storm Jet (M Noor).
Margins & Time: ½, nk, 2½, 10, 4 (1:03:20sec).
Storm Jet reared as the gates opened and missed the start badly. Intention jumped best and although throwing his head about, still managed to lead from Confidence, Golden Dragon and Faaltless. Our River Dancer was a length away in fifth.
Heading for the 600m and Intention led from Confidence and Faaltless. Our River Dancer made a sharp move and was well within striking distance when they turned for home.
With 300m to go, Confidence and Intention looked like they were going to fight it out until Our River Dancer loomed on the outside. With big, bounding strides he overhauled the leaders to win a nice trial.
1 Takeover (K A'isisuhairi) 2 Griffin (SB Ng) 3 Silver Fly (SH Lee) 4 English Dream (S John)5 Overpower (M Suhaimi) 6 Suburban Secret (M Kellady) 7 Drama Superstar (T Rehaizat).
Margins & Time: Ns, ½, ½, 1¾, nk, nk (1:02.71sec).
A ragged start. Drama Superstar was, as usual, slow to get going. She settled back last Surburban Secret also made a mess of it. Griffin, jumping from that spot nearest the paint, got going nicely and was chased by English Dream, Silver Fly and Takeover. Next came Overpower.
Griffin was first to clear the 600m. English Dream was up there but if had taken the turn any wider, he would have been on the next MRT train to Woodlands.
Takeover and Silver Fly had no such thoughts. They were kept on a straight course. With 200m to go, Takeover, taking the shortest route home, charged to the line to beat Griffin. Silver Fly did well to grab third.
1 Single Star (KB Soo) 2 Goal Keeper (D Beasley) 3 Mr Magnus (I Andy) 4 Californian Jet 5 Flying Fulton (Shafiq) 6 Smart Chief (I Saifudin) 7 Video Call (S Sam).
Margins & Time: Nk, ½, 1¾, ¾, 3½, 12¼ (1:01.56sec).
A good start by all. Flying Fulton got away nicely as did Goal Keeper, Californian Jet and Mr Magnus. Also up with the pace was Single Star and Smart Chief.
It was Goal Keeper when they cleared the bend on the far side. He had Mr Magnus and Californian Jet for company. Single Star and Smart Chief weren't too far adrift.
Making the turn for the run home and Goal Keeper had a comfortable lead from Mr Magnus.
Single Star began a run wide out. Ridden hard, he came at Goal Keeper and just prevailed by a narrow margin. To his credit, Goal Keeper wasn't pushed over the concluding stages. Flying Fulton also finished on nicely.
1 Yin Jie (Beasley) 2 Mexborough Boy (M Nizar) 3 War Affair (Moreira) 4 Bigdinero (Barnabas) 5 Tzar (B Vorster) 6 Super Bonus (Nunes).
Margins & Time: Ns, 1½, ¾, 1½, 1½ (1:02.02sec).
A good start by all. Tzar jumped best and led narrowly from Yin Jie and Super Bonus. Next came Bigdinero, War Affair and Mexborough Boy, who took his time to get into stride and was last.
At the 600m Super Bonus had put a street between himself and second-placed Yin Jie. Then came, Tzar, Bigdinero and War Affair. Mexborough Boy was a long way back. Indeed, such was the stagger that there was at least 12 lengths between first and last.
As they angled for that run home, Super Bonus led but his lead was cut back by Yin Jie. Tzar and War Affair also challenged. While they were fighting it out, Mexborough Boy woke from his slumber and gave chase. Such was his acceleration that he almost pinched the trial, but Yin Jie just lasted. Full marks to the runner-up.
1 Jeram Clipper (Beasley) 2 Macau Roulette (YF Leong) 3 El Perigo (B Nzawan) 4 Audio Friend (WL Tan) 5 Breathofsuccess (M Suhaimi) 6 Farrand (WH Lao).
Margins & Time: 1, ½, ½, nk, 6 (1:01.22sec).
Farrand made a mess of the start and was badly away. Macau Roulette jumped best and, after covering the initial 200m, he led from Breathofsuccess and Jeram Clipper. Also up there were Audio Friend and El Perigo.
Clearing the 600m and Macau Roulette and Breathofsuccess were locked together. Jeram Clipper was in the box seat, third. Then came Audio Friend and El Perigo.
Well into the straight and Jeram Clipper found a gap between the two frontrunners.
He gladly took it and ridden hard, he cleared away to win comfortably.
Macau Roulette was ridden quietly to hold second.
1 Flutz (Y Ruzaili) 2 Strubeli (I Santana) 3 Universal Starlite (Nunes) 4 Subdue (WH Lao) 5 Sarong (Suhaimi) 6 Pinyin (Shafiq) 7 Golden Friends (WS Chan).
Margins & Time: ¾, ¾, 1, 1, 1¼, 7¼ (1: 02:55sec).
A good send-off in the last. Subdue was urged out of the gates and led briefly before Strubeli took over and led narrowly. Universal Starlight joined in.
Sarong "lifted". Flutz and Pin Yin weren't too far adrift. As they charged to the 600m marker, Universal Starlite led narrowly from Strubeli. Then came Subdue and Sarong. Flutz and Pin Yin were not out of it.
Straightening, and Universal Starlite had to contend Strubeli.
But while they were fighting it out, Flutz found a gap nearest the cones and he came home nicely to beat Strubeli. A good run by the winner.