SINGAPORE - Zorro, a newcomer to Kranji racing, created a favourable impression when he made it an allthe- way show at the trials on Tuesday morning.
With KB Soo in the saddle, he was out of the barriers in a flash and quickly took control of the situation.
Always travelling well, he never relinquished the lead - even when challenged over the concluding stages by VOY.
Zorro has improved a ton since we last saw him in a competitive situation. That was on June 6 when he plodded home last in a trial won by the very smart Rusty Brown who ran the 1,000m in 61.83sec.
That day, Zorro's time was hardly worth writing home about. But if you must know, he clocked 64.33.
By contrast, when he made every post a winning one in yesterday's wet and drizzly conditions, he covered the distance in 63sec. Not a fantastic time but the overall performance - from jump to whoa - was good enough for me.
A three-year-old New Zealand-bred by Don Eduardo, Zorro is being prepared for his Kranji debut by Theo Kieser. Watch him on debut. The masked one is no dud.
TUESDAY'S TRIAL RESULTS AND COMMENTS:
TRIAL 1 (OFFICIAL)
1 Cordoba (B Vorster) 2 Smart Chief (D Beasley) 3 Hanks (J Moreira) 4 Soon N Leong (A Feiruz) 5 Good Idea (M Nunes). Margins and time: 4¼, 1¼, 4, 1½ (1min 01.37sec).
Cordoba and Smart Chief were a tad slow to clear the gates and settled back near the rear in the early stages. Hanks jumped best and led easily from Good Idea. Third was Soon N Leong, who was racing keenly.
As they neared the 600m, Hanks still maintained a clear lead over Good Idea. The pair straightened in front but they had serious company.
Soon N Leong was within touching distance while Cordoba loomed up dangerously on the outside.
Given a shake-up by Barend Vorster, Cordoba eyeballed Hanks then moved ahead with 200m to go.
He then pulled away to win as he liked. Smart Chief ran on second. A good win by Cardoba, who was messy out of the gates.
TRIAL 2 (OFFICIAL)
1 Zorro (KB Soo) 2 Voy (Beasley) 3 Hofburg Palace (Moreira) 4 Just Duit (A Munro) 5 Easy Winner (S Sam) 6 Super Voice (Nunes) 7 Happy Money (SB Ng) 8 East Coast Park (M Zaki). Margins and time: ½, 2¼, 1, 1¼, ¾, 3, 1 (1:03.00).
Zorro was away like a sword out of a scabbard. He quickly raced to a 2-length lead over Just Duit and Happy Money. Next came Voy, Super Voice and Easy Winner. Hofbury Palace was second-last. East Coast Park was last.
Straightening for the run home and Zorro continued to lead from Voy, the mount of Danny Beasley, and Just Duit. Happy Money was also well up and very much in the reckoning. Hofbury Palace was still unsighted.
With 200m to go, Zorro looked like stopping but he found his second wind - and that little extra - and held off the challenge of Voy to win by about ½ length. Hofbury Palace came from a long way back to claim third spot.
TRIAL 3 (OFFICIAL)
1 Barnburgh Lad (Beasley) 2 Room For Excuse (Munro) 3 Mechanic John (Nunes) 4 Bat King (R Shafiq) 5 Teochew Barrister (S Noh) 6 Octivia (TH Koh) 7 Bernard's Fighter (I Saifudin) 8 Flying Mission (Soo) Margins and time: 5½, 2½, 3¼, hd, ½, 2½, 23¾ (1:01.55).
Barnburgh Lad was away smartly and he quickly opened a lead on Room For Excuse, Octivia and Mechanic John.
Also in attendance were Teochew Barrister and Bernard's Fighter. As they passed the 600m, Barnburgh Lad continued to lead.
He was chased by the filly Octivia, Room For Excuse and Mechanic John. Two lengths adrift came Teochew Barrister and Bernard's Fighter.
With the finish in sight, Barnburgh Lad lengthend strides and was home and hosed long before the 100m marker was breached.
He coasted in unchallenged. Room For Excuse held on for second but the trial belonged to the winner, who looked to have plenty in the tank when they crossed the finish line.
1 Disco (Y Ruzaili) 2 Marine Park (Nunes) 3 Suggestahabit (I Andy) 4 Two M And M (Vorster) 5 Big Heart (M Au) 6 Eclair Desire 7 Warspirit (WL Tan).
Margins and time: ¾, nk, ½, ¾, 4, 31½ (1:02.35).
Two M And M jumped away smartly and led from Marine Park. Eclair Desire and Big Heart muscled their way into contention and they were almost four abreast when they cleared the left bend on the far side.
Suggestahabit and Disco watched them go. War Spirit was last.
Making their way to the 600m and Marine Park held a slim lead over Big Heart and Two M And M.
Disco continued to keep in touch. Suggestahabit moved out on the inside. Next came Eclair Desire.
It was a tight bunch on straightening. Manoel Nunes, on Marine Park, had company. Suggestahabit, racing nearest the cones, moved up to challenge. Two M And M and Big Heart weren't out of it.
With 100m to go, Disco took a run on the inside and cleared away to win from Marine Park. He will win soon.
1 Yin Xin (H Anwar) 2 Grand Arrival (Noh) 3 Happy Rainbow (Moreira) 4 Bahen (J Powell) 5 Future Show (M Kellady) 6 Savage Storm (SH Lee) 7 Klever Warrior (R Hasri) 8 Palombaro (M Zaki).
Margins and time: 3, ns, 1¼, hd, ns, 4, hd (1:01.59).
Palombaro was tardy out of the gates. However, three of them jumped as one and when they settled, it was Yin Xin narrowly from Future Show and Savage Storm. They cleared away from Bahen, Happy Rainbow and Grand Arrival.
Yin Xin was first to clear the 600m and, although taking the turn wide, he had a good break on Future Show and Savage Storm.
Then came Bahen, who made up ground from Happy Rainbow.
With the finish in sight, Yin Xin was well clear.
With the whip tucked away and urged on by hands and heels, Yin Xin went to the post to win unchallenged.
1 Danger Money (Moreira) 2 Simple Pleasures (Powell) 3 Arowana Dot Com (J Verenzuela) 4 Mayweather (Nunes) 5 Rory (S Noh) 6 Bespoke 7 Nojo (Munro). Margins and time: ¾, nk, 2½, hd, 10¼, 10¾ (1:01.78).
Nojo was tardy yet again. Joao Moreira got Danger Money out of the gates smartly and he led from Simple Pleasure and Arowana Dot Com.
Mayweather and Rory joined the pack chasing Danger Money.
With the 600m marker behind them, Danger Money continued to lead from Arowana Dot Com and Simple Pleasures. Rory and Mayweather kept pace.
Close to home, Arowana Dot Com ducked in to take a run between the leader and Simple Pleasures but he lacked pace and Danger Money kept up a good gallop to beat Simple Pleasures.
1 Wonder General (Zaki) 2 Washington Bay (Munro) 3 Sing A Song (Sam) 4 Diva's Brother (Hasri) 5 Providence 6 More Than Worthy (KK Ng).
Margins and time: 1¼, 2, ½, 1, 11 (1:02.07).
Sing A Song and Washington Bay were slow to begin. No such problems for Wonder General, who skipped to the front to lead comfortably from Diva's Brother and Providence.
Washingston Bay made up ground. Sing A Song was second-last. More Than Worthy was in the rearguard.
Wonder General had no opponents and turned for the run home well clear of Diva's Brother, Providence and Washington Bay.
With frontrunning jockey M Zaki doing it the way he knows best, Wonder General beat Washington Bay by 1¼ lengths.
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