Racing: Vertical Start is on an upward swing

Vertical Start, who was never a show in his last two starts, could produce something good in Friday's Class 3 race over the 1,400m.

Sure, this is a step-up from his only success which was in a Class 4 event over the 1,200m in early December. However, having won with 58kg on his back and having had to hump 59kg and 57kg in his last two starts, he could find the 52.5kg he has to carry on Friday to be something like a feather on his back.

Then, of course there's that other thing. Yesterday's morning's more than decent show at the trials at Kranji would have smoothened out the rough edges.

Indeed, in yesterday 1,000m hit-out on the Poly, Vertical Start did it all right. He tracked the frontrunners all the way until deep in the home straight before pouncing on the leaders and dashing away to win by three-quarter lengths.

From the stables of trainer Patrick Shaw, who sent out Slew Of Lode to score like a champ on Sunday after winning a trial last Tuesday, Vertical Start does look like he too will benefit from the yesterday's gallop.

TRIAL 1 (OFFICIAL)

1 Geeson Master (K A'Isisuhairi)

2 Katong Park (Z Zuriman)

3 Happy Saga (D Beasley)

4 EL Verdugo (O Chavez)

5 Dane's Anatomy (R Shafiq)

6 Spalato (TK Barnabas)

Margins and time: ½, ns, 1¾, ¾, 3 (1min 03.79sec)

Katong Park jumped best and led early. Also cleanly away were Dane's Anatomy, El Verdugo, Happy Saga and Geeson Master. Spalato, who was tardy out of the gates, trailed.

Passing the 600m and El Verdugo led narrowly from Katong Park, Happy Saga, Dane's Anatomy and Geeson Master. That was the order in which they turned but, in that run to the finish, Geeson Master got the better of his rivals to win a trial which didn't produce anything outstanding.

TRIAL 2 (OFFICIAL)

1 Unique One (R Lim)

2 Adivino (A Munro)

3 Confeign (Chavez)

4 Happy Happy (Beasley)

5 Winfrey (I Santana)

6 Rising Tide (Shafiq)

7 Double Jeopardy (C Brown)

Margins and time: 1½, 1, 1¼, shd, nk, ½ (1:02.15)

Winfrey was slow to get going. It was a mad rush up front. Happy Happy, Confeign, Double Jeopardy and Unique One all wanted to lead. But it was Happy Happy and Confeign who dictated things and led when they cleared the 600m. Next came Double Jeopardy, Unique One and Adivino.

Into the straight and Confeign wrested the lead from Happy Happy. It was short-lived because, almost immediately, Unique One came up to challenge. Showing a nice turn of foot, the filly charged ahead and held her advantage to win a nice trial. Advino came from some distance back to run second.

TRIAL 3 (OFFICIAL)

1 I'm Kool (A'Isisuhairi)

2 Ocean Power (Munro)

3 Sebrose (Brown)

4 Flying Windfall (I Saifudin)

5 Art Of War (Chavez)

6 Awinisawin (L Allpress)

Margins and time: Nk, 3½, nk, ½, 13 (1:02.40)

Art Of War was out in a flash and led narrowly from I'm Kool, Flying Windfall and Sebrose. Going at a furious pace, Art Of War, I'm Kool and Flying Windfall were almost in a line when they cleared the 600m. Following them were Sebrose, Awinisawin and Ocean Power.

Angling for that run home and Art Of War had three challengers. Sebrose on the rails, Flying Windfall and I'm Kool.

With the finish in sight, I'm Kool shot clear to win from the fast-finishing Ocean Power.

TRIAL 4 (TEST)

1 Raise No Doubt (J Powell)

2 Laser Storm (WL Tan)

3 Got Luck (Beasley)

4 King's Choir (V Leal)

5 Little Lion (Lim)

Margins and time: Shd, 1, 17½, 5¼ (1:00.79)

Got Luck, Laser Storm and King's Choir jumped best and dictated the early lead. Raise No Doubt was a lonely fourth. Then came Little Lion.

At the 600m, Got Luck was a clear leader from Laser Storm. They looked like having the trial between them. Raise No Doubt was third.

Well into the straight and it was like a mail train. Got Luck, racing with blinkers, had a big break on Laser Storm. A length in arrears was Raise No Doubt. With 200m to go, Laser Storm and Raise No Doubt collared Got Luck and drew away to fight out the finish. It was a bob of the heads and Raise No Doubt got it narrowly.

TRIAL 5 (PRACTICE)

1 Cash Luck (A'Isisuhairi)

2 Captain Obvious (Chavez)

3 Damo (Beasley)

4 Two M And M (Leal)

5 Emperor's Banquet (B Vorster)

6 Bee Ahead (HZ Toh)

7 Blue Swede (Powell)

Margins and time: 3, 1¾, ns, nk, 5½, 2 (1:01.24)

Captain Obvious took command on settling. He led led from Two M And M and Cash Luck. They were followed by Emperor's Banquet, Bee Ahead, Blue Suede and Damo.

With 600m to travel, Captain Obvious continued to dictate things. Two M And M was up there. So too Cash Luck, Damo and Emperor's Banquet. Straightening for the run home and Cash Luck made a move. Showing good action, he collared Captain Obvious and strode away to win as he liked. Captain Obvious hung around for second. A good trial by the winner.

TRIAL 6 (PRACTICE)

1 Vertical Start (Beasley)

2 Palombaro (M Zyrul)

3 Moova Cash (TR Barnabas)

4 Double Cash (M Khalid)

5 Sergeant Pepper (Powell)

6 Rough Dance (H Firdaus)

7 Whatanite (R Firdaus)

8 Specta Dilemma (TK Barnabas)

Margins and time: ¾, ½, ns, 5¾, ns, nk, nk (1:01.35)

Palombaro and Moova Cash were away nicely and led the field when they turned on the far side. They were chased by Vertical Start, Rough Dance and Double Cash. Cruising pass the 600m and four runners had a chance. Palombaro, Vertical Start, Moova Cash and Double Cash. A gap away came Rough Dance and Whatanite.

With the finish well in sight, Vertical Start collared the eight-year-old Palombaro and raced away to a good win. Then came the two "Cash" runners - Moova and Double. There was little to separate the pair.

TRIAL 7 (PRACTICE)

1 Takeover (A'Isisuhairi)

2 Full Meaning (Lim)

3 Bigcat Rhapsody (Firdaus)

4 Voy (Beasley)

5 Desert Viking (TK Barnabas)

6 Give Me Strength (H Amin)

7 I'm A Rich Man

Margins and time: ½, 2¾, ns, 2¼, 1¾, 3¼ (1:02.57)

It was tight in front when they jumped. But on settling, Full Meaning took control of things and led from Desert Viking. The pair cleared the 600m marker well ahead of Takeover and I'm A Rich Man. Bigcat Rhapsody and Voy were still in it.

Into the straight and with 300m to cover, Full Meaning - under a nice hold - continued to lead rather comfortably from Takeover who was made to work hard by his rider. Then came Bigcat Rhapsody and Voy. In the shades of the winning post, Takeover - ridden hard - found that little extra to beat Full Meaning. A good trial by the runner-up.

TRIAL 8 (PRACTICE)

1 Valentino (Amin)

2 Greystoke (R Hasri)

3 Conqueror (Khalid)

4 Golden Star (Santana)

5 Rock Show (R Firdaus)

6 Good News (Lim)

7 Breathofsuccess (Barnabas)

Margins and time: ½, 2½, 4, 4½, 2, 11¾ (1:02.65)

Conqueror showed blistering pace out of the gates and led easily from Golden Star. Locked away in third were Greystoke and Valentino. They were clear of Rock Show, Good News and Breathofsuccess.

As they angled out for the run home, Conqueror had a five-length jump on Greystoke, who made up good ground, Valentino closed in. Conqueror, after "flying" early, soon slowed down to a trot. That left Greystoke and Valentino to fight it out with Valentino eventually getting the verdict.

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