'EAGLE' sprouts wings in comeback trial
CALIFORNIA EAGLE is in a hurry. With just one run under his girth after a year's break from racing, the American-bred looked in good shape when winning his trial at Kranji yesterday morning.
Ridden by Oscar Chavez, California Eagle came from a handy midfield spot to collar the leaders in the run home. He then sprinted away to a convincing win.
A four-year-old, he has had 12 starts for three wins and three seconds. Indeed, until that 12-month break from last October, California Eagle had been a model of consistency and would have gone into many notebooks as a definite horse to follow.
Trained by David Kok, he didn't take long to open his Kranji account. Indeed, he greeted the judge in just his third start, winning a 1,000m sprint. He was on Feb 1 last year and he was ridden by Joao Moreira.
The Brazilian hoop would go on to partner California Eagle in his two other wins. California Eagle returned only on Oct 5.
On what looks like the start of a serious comback bid, he can only get better and it might be a good idea to chart his progress from now on.
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Lim's Action (J Powell)
2 Lonhmin (Z Zuriman)
3 Smart Money (C Brown)
4 Stirling (D Beasley)
5 Black Magic (R Rueven)
6 Bontempelli (A Munro)
7 Numero Uno (N Nurshahril)
8 No Smoking Jeff (TH Koh)
Margins & time: 2¾, ½, ns, ¾, nk, 1½, 1¼ (1min 02.36sec)
Numero Uno was first to break and he was followed by Smart Money, Black Magic, Lonhmin and Lim's Action. Those five runners cleared the bend on the far side with not much between them.
On entering the stretch for the run home, Lim's Action - racing three-wide - raced to the front. He was immediately challenged by Black Magic and Lonhmin. With John Powell in the saddle, Lim's Action stepped on the power and cleared away to win comfortably. A good trial by the winner.
TRIAL 2 (ORT)
1 Jimmy Rea (R Shafiq)
2 Ninetysevenemperor (Beasley)
3 Regal Rage (Nurshahril)
4 Poseidon (Brown)
5 Western Boss (S John)
6 Bank On Me (M Suhaimi)
Margins & time: 1, 1, nk, 3¼, 9¼ (1:01.72)
Regal Rage was all the rage out of the gates and he led from Western Boss, Bank On Me, Poseidon and Jimmy Rea. Western Boss took over the lead at the 600m, dropping Regal Rage into second spot. Next came Bank On Me, Poseidon and Jimmy Rea.
Turning for the run home and Western Boss looked to be doing it nicely. He had disposed of Regal Rage but was immediately challenged by Jimmy Rea. Ninetysevenemperor was up there.
Held together nicely by R Shafiq, Jimmy Rea went to the front close home to beat Ninetysevenemperor by a length. Regal Rage did well to stay on for third. Western Boss faded.
TRIAL 3 (TEST)
1 My Lucky Strike (L Allpress)
2 He's A Striker (Brown)
3 Fraajilistic (I Saifudin)
4 Powernova (Zuriman)
5 Star Beauty (R Shafiq)
6 Branksome (BN Shahrul)
7 Nobleman Star (WS Chan)
8 Trust Me (A Feiruz)
9 Absinthe Lover (T Rehaizat)
Margins & time: 2½, nk, ¾, shd, nk, 4¾, 1¾, 11 (1:01.11)
Branksome was slow out of the gates but quickly made up for lost ground. Fraajilistic led when they raced to the 600m. He had My Lucky Strike in hot pursuit. Next came Powernova and Branksome.
Turning for home and My Lucky Strike was the one to catch. Fraajilistic held second, just ahead of Powernova, Branksome, Star Beauty and He's A Striker.
Well into the straight, My Lucky Strike was in cruise control. With Lisa Allpress in the irons, My Lucky Strike cleared away to win by two and half lengths. A good trial by the winner.
TRIAL 4 (TEST)
1 Ocean Story (J See)
2 Fast Rich (Shafiq)
3 Sun Dayton (M Zaki)
4 Man Of Power (Beasley)
5 Ninetysevensuccess (Saifudin)
6 Bourbon Captain (I Santana)
7 Lim's Elusive (J Powell)
8 Powerpac (Rehaizat)
Margins & time: Ns, 1½, 3¾, ½, ¾, ¾, 8½ (1:01.35)
Ocean Story jumped away cleanly and led for a short while before being overtaken by Sun Dayton. Man Of Power moved up second, dropping Lim's Elusive into third. Ocean Story, ridden by J See, settled in fourth.
Sun Dayton continued to lead when they approached the top of the straight. Man Of Power held second. Lim's Elusive and Fast Rich were next. Taking the shortest route home, Ocean Story soon raced to the front and, in a frantic finish, beat Fast Rich by a slender margin. Sun Dayton, the early leader, held on for third.
TRIAL 5 (TEST & PRACTICE)
1 Sebas (Munro)
2 Pure Tactics (O Chavez)
3 Bellus Wonder (Saifudin)
4 Brother Bay (Beasley)
5 Appellation (Shafiq)
6 Zenzero (J Saimee)
7 Dr Octopus (H Amin)
8 Federer (M Kellady)
9 Pure Rabid (Suhaimi)
Margins & time: ¾, 2¾, 7, nk, 1½, ns, 3, 9¼ (1:01.76)
Pure Tactics showed early speed, as did Appellation and Bellus Wonder. Sebas, jumping out just okay, was soon in a hurry and, when they cleared the bend on the far side, he had the leaders in his crosshairs. Some three lengths away came Appellation, Zenzero, Brother Bay and Federer.
It was a three-horse affair at the top of the straight. Pure Tactics and Bellus Wonder had company as Sebas, the mount of Alan Munro, loomed dangerously close. Sebas did mean business and, when given rein by his jockey, he opened up in fine style to win going away.
TRIAL 6 (PRACTICE)
1 California Eagle (Chavez)
2 Goal Keeper (Munro)
3 Kaiser (WS Chan)
4 Bullet Fly
5 OM (Amin)
6 Aspen (Shafiq)
7 Sweet Lodge (Saimee)
8 Guaricana (M Rizman)
Margins & time: ¾, nk, 1¼, 1, 1, 1¼, 1, 1¾ (1:01.07)
Soon after the start, Aspen dropped back last. From the pack burst California Eagle. He grew wings and led from Bullet Fly, Kaiser and Goal Keeper. California Eagle led when they cleared the 600m and he had a healthy break when they straightened. Following him were Bullet Fly, Kaiser, Goal Keeper and Guaricana.
With 350m to travel, California Eagle - with Oscar Chavez on top - had it done and dusted. Goal Keeper came with a late bid but he was never going to catch the "Eagle". Kaiser stayed on nicely to take third. California Eagle clocked 61.07sec for the 1,000m. It was the fastest of the morning's seven trials.
TRIAL 7 (PRACTICE)
1 Dragon Fury (Beasley)
2 Good Child (J Low)
3 Bulldozer (Rizman)
4 Blazing Spur (TH Koh)
5 Rosegold (Santana)
6 Super Captain (Rueven)
7 Piasau Garden (J See)
8 Guiltless (Kellady)
Margins & time: ¾, nk, ns, ¾, ¾, 1¾, nk (1:03.31)
There was nothing fiery about Blazing Spur. He missed the jump and settled back last. Dragon Fury showed speed and led from Rose Gold and Good Child. Guiltless was a handy fourth, Next came Bulldozer, Piasau Garden and Super Captain.
It was still Dragon Fury in front when they neared the top of the straight. Rose Gold held second from Super Captain, Good Child and Blazing Spur, who made up good ground on the extreme outside.
With the finish in sight, they were spread across the track. And in a desperate lunge to the tape, Dragon Fury, who took the shortest route home, got the verdict from Good Child and Bulldozer.