Racing: Warhorse is truly tougher than ever

He will be some racehorse to watch when he finally shows up in a race at Kranji. But, for now, we have got to enjoy what we see at the trials.

After all, it's not every day that we get to see a Diamond Stakes winner in action or, for that matter, a runner who placed third in the Sires Produce.

But that's WARHORSE for you. A three-time winner in New Zealand before being flown out here to excite Kranji fans.

Warhorse raced as TOUGHER THAN EVER for Tang Wing Fei of Jupiter Stable and was off the board in just three of his 13 starts.

Now a four-year-old and sent to the trials yesterday, he showed some of that NZ form when he won over the 1,000m in 61.69sec.

In fairness, he could have gone faster - if the plan was to set the Polytrack ablaze - but it was still heartening to see him dig in and tough it out when challenged by BRAHMS & LISZT over the concluding stages.

Back to his NZ record, Warhorse ran second on debut as a two-year-old. He was unplaced the next time at the races but quickly opened his account in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes over 1,200m at Ellerslie.

That was in January last year. Two months later, in March, he won the Diamond Stakes - a NZ$152,000 (S$153, 000) race.

Turning three, he won a Listed race also at Ellerslie. In his subsequent five starts, the son of General Nadiym missed making the board on just three occasions. We await his presence on the track.

The trial results and comments:

TRIAL 1 (OFFICIAL): 1 Astrostar (WL Hu) 2 Midnight (D Beasley) 3 Easy Winner (S Sam) 4 Hidden Venture (E Aslam) 5 Moonbeam Dazzler (M Zaki) 6 Flaming Fireheart (M Nunes) 7 Blue Swede (M Kellady) 8 Mission (B Vorster). Margins and time: 1, 2¾, ½, nk, 1, ns, 4 (1min 02:58sec).

Moonbeam Dazzler was slow to get going. Midnight jumped best but he soon had company.

Easy Winner, Flaming Fireheart and Hidden Venture also showed speed and they hounded him all the way to the first turn on the far side. Next came Astro Star, Blue Suede and Mission.

Easy Winner soon took command and he led them into the straight. Hidden Venture was next.

Flaming Fireheart moved up on the outside, dropping off Midnight into fourth. Astro Star moved nearest the rails.It was Easy Winner and Hidden Venture when they angled out. They raced tight and bumped.

While they were at it, Astro Star swooped in on the inside to grab the lead. He hung on well to beat Midnight, who seems very comfortable.

TRIAL 2: 1 Magical Sunset (Aslam) 2 Wu Scholar (Nunes) 3 Emperor's Banquet (Vorster) 4 Lord Roberto (R Shafiq) 5 Bronco (I Saifudin). M argins and time: ¾, nk, ns, 1¾ (1:02.07sec).

A good start to the second trial. Magical Sunset, jumping from nearest the paint, dictated things.

He soon had a length's break on Wu Scholar and Emperor's Banquet. They dropped off Bronco and Lord Roberto.

It was Magical Sunset still in front when they cleared the 600m marker. Emperor's Banquet moved up second. Wu Scholar took his spot in the box seat. Bronco, pulling hard, tried to get coser to the leading trio.

With the finish in sight, Erasmus Aslam, on Magical Sunset, tried to make a break for it.Emperor's Banquet and Wu Scholar made him work for vcitory and Magical Sunset had enough in the tank to just last it out.

TRIAL 3: 1 Warhorse (J Moreira) 2 Brahms & Liszt (Nunes) 3 Two M And M (Vorster) 4 Eclair Desire (KK Ng). Margins and time: Nk, 2, 1 (1:01.69sec).

Fielden Star refused to jump with the rest. Two M And M got going neatly and led from Warhorse and Brahms & Liszt. Eclair Desire was in the thick of it.

It was a tight bunch at the 600m. Indeed, you could throw a towel over the lot and it would cover them all. Warhorse, racing two off the cones, went into the lead from Two M And M and Brahms & Liszt. Eclair Desire wasn't out of it.

Well into the stretch and Warhorse looked to be going great guns. He had a length's break on the pair of Brahms & Liszt and Two M And M.

Over the concluding stages, Brahms & Liszt tried to make a go for the win. But Warhorse proved to be a fighter of sorts and he held on tenaciously to win narrowly.

TRIAL 4: 1 Easy Money (Sam) 2 Rappor (J Verenzuela) 3 Lightning Thief (B Nazwan) 4 Beauty Supreme (A Munro) 5 Boss Can I Can (Saifudin) 6 Supernova (Vorster). Margins and time: ½, 2¼, nk, ½, 1¾ (1:01.62sec).

Supernova jumped away nicely but Lightning Thief stole the lead and showed them the way to the left-hand turn on the far side.He had company in Rappor. Then came Beauty Supreme, Supernova and Easy Money.

Rappor led when they cleared the 600m. Lightning Thief held second. Beauty Supreme was a clear third, a length ahead of Supernova.

Boss Can I Can made up ground on the outside. Straightening for the run home and Rappor led from Lightning Thief, racing nearest the cones.

Easy Money, ridden hard, charged down the centre of the track and his momentum took him to the finish, about ½ length in front of Rappor.

TRIAL 5: 1 Royal Tudor (Moreira) 2 Smart Idea (Vorster) 3 Blossoms Sequel (Nunes) 4 Teochew Barrister (Sam) 5 Rikioh (Beasley) 6 Just Dashing (A Syahir) 7 Imperious (Munro) 8 Griffin (S Noh). Margins and time: ¾, nk, ½, ½, 2½, nk, ½ (1:02.46sec).

Royal Tudor cleared the gates well, as did Imperious, Griffin and Blossoms Sequel who led after they cleared the initial 250m.

Then came Just Dashing, Smart Idea. Rikioh and Teochew Banquet. It was Griffin a narrow leader from Blossoms Sequel when they reached the 600m.

Smart Idea made up good ground to hold third, just ahead of Royal Tudor and Imperious - who were still in striking distance.Into the straight and Royal Tudor, taking the shortest route home, headed Blossom's Sequel.

Smart Idea came into the picture wide out. Rikioh was also in with a shout.

It was anyone's win with 150m to go, but Royal Tudor kept going to win rather handsomely from Smart Idea and Blossom's Sequel.

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