Laxon's newbies steal the morning show
Two debutants from champion trainer Laurie Laxon's yard bear watching at the races on Friday.
The pair of COSTNER and AMAZING created good impressions in their respective trials at Kranji yesterday morning - both winning with some authority.
First off in the opening Official Race Trial (ORT) was Amazing. A four-year-old New Zealand-bred by Danroad, Amazing tracked the pacesetter PERFECT CURIOSITY all the way into the stretch.
With 200m to travel, Manoel Nunes asked his mount for an effort and Amazing picked up the pace to win by a length. Jumping from the outermost gate, he clocked 61.94sec for the 1,000m trip.
In the second ORT of the morning, Costner was just as impressive. He showed a flair for racing when he matched strides with Sir Reginald and The Dodger all the way up the stretch.
Ridden by apprentice R Rueven, Costner got the upper hand close home to win by a neck.
Owned by staunch Laxon supporter, Oscar Racing Stable, Costner comes up against a beatable field in Friday's Restricted Maiden event over the 1,200m. Watch him.
Indeed, watch both of them.
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Amazing (M Nunes)
2 Perfect Curiosity (O Chavez)
3 Rings Of Saturn (C Brown)
4 Aguila Azteca (R Shafiq)
5 Shuying Xiaoxiao (S Sam)
6 Bonanza (MM Firdaus)
7 Al Mirwah (C Newitt)
Margins & time: 1, ½, 1, ¾, nk, ½ (1min 01.94sec)
Aguila Azteca was swiftly into stride and led from Perfect Curiosity, Amazing and Ring Of Saturn. Approaching the 600m and Perfect Curiosity had a handy lead over Amazing, on his outside. Aguila Azteca and Ring Of Saturn were locked together - fighting for third.
Into the stretch and Amazing charged to the front. Perfect Curiosity watched him go. With the finish in sight, Amazing kept up a brisk gallop to beat Perfect Curiosity by a length. Ring Of Saturn was a half-length away in third.
TRIAL 2 (ORT)
1 Costner (R Rueven)
2 Sir Reginald (Newitt)
3 The Dodger (M Rodd)
4 Will Be Better (Chavez)
5 Caro Ina (MM Firdaus)
Margins & time: Nk, ½, 3½, 5 (1:02.19)
Sir Reginald, Costner and The Dodger disputed the early lead in this five-horse ORT. Will Be Better stayed fourth. Racing to the 600m and The Dodger was a clear leader from Costner and Sir Reginald.
Into the straight and angling out for that run home, the three leaders - Costner in the centre, Sir Reginald on the outside and The Dodger on the inside - were almost in a line.
Racing strongly to the line, Costner got the verdict by a neck over Sir Reginald. The Dodger was third. The winner clocked 62.19sec.
TRIAL 3 (TEST)
1 One United (T See)
2 Custodian (B Woodworth)
3 Keep Spinning (I Saifudin)
4 Jack Of Hearts (A Munro)
5 Highlight (Z Zuriman)
6 Onepluszero One (M Zaki)
7 Third Prince (LQ Kek)
8 Zipangu (K A'Isisuhairi)
9 White Coffee (Rodd)
Margins & time: ¾, 1½, ¾, 3, 2¼, nk, ½, 2 (1:01.16)
Third Prince was first to break and led early from Custodian, One United, Onepluszero One and Highlight. The positions remained unchanged when they turned on the far side. Racing to the 600m and Custodian, the mount of Benny Woodworth, led from One United. A gap away came Keep Spinning - who was making up some ground.
Straightening for the run home and One United - with Troy See in the saddle - began a charge. Rapidly gaining on Custodian, One United hit the front at the 150m mark and drew away to win in 61.16sec. Custodian held on for second, with Keep Spinning third.
TRIAL 4 (PRACTICE)
1 Straighttothepoint (Rueven)
2 Happy Money (B Vorster)
3 Huka Falls (Brown)
4 War Lord (Saifudin)
5 Q Nine Magic (Shafiq)
6 Joyful Melody
7 Supernova (Zuriman)
8 These Streets (Newitt)
9 Absolutely (Rodd)
Margins & time: ½, nk, nk, nk, 1, 3¾, 9½, 2½ (1:01.33)
A big field faced the starter and when they jumped, it was Huka Falls who led from Joyful Melody. Straighttothepoint, Supernova, War Lord and Happy Money. Racing to the 600m and Joyful Melody had the better of Huka Falls.
Into the straight and Huka Falls regained the lead, dropping Joyful Melody into a clear second. Straighttothepoint began a run.
But, just as soon as Huka Falls found the lead, he switched off. That allowed Straighttothepoint to surge ahead and win by half a length. Happy Money ran on for second.
TRIAL 5 (PRACTICE)
1 Squire Osbaldeston (Brown)
2 Black Magic (Rodd)
3 Mount Kinabalu (J Powell)
4 Hongchen (WH Lao)
5 Mighty Glory (Vorster)
6 Frances (Rueven)
7 Lady Shark (T See)
9 Speed Machine (R Zawari)
Margins & time: Nk, ¾, ½, shd, nk, 2, ¾, 2½ (1:02.14)
Frances was a tad slow but quickly made up ground. After just 200m, she was racing in the front with Mount Kinabalu and Mighty Glory. Speed Machine and Ginseng were next. Following them were Squire Osbaldeston and Black Magic.
Racing to the 600m and Frances had to contend with Mount Kinabalu. Mighty Glory was a length in arrears. Into the straight and Frances had enough. She dropped out of it. Mount Kinabalu had the lead but was immediately passed by Squire Osbaldeston and Black Magic. The "Squire" then went on to win a well-contested trial.
TRIAL 6 (PRACTICE)
1 Vist An Au (Nunes)
2 Flamboyant (Vorster)
3 Muvuka (KB Soo)
4 Bilbo Baggins (Brown)
5 Spicy Cat (T See)
6 Moonbeam Dazzler (Zaki)
7 Sky Walker
8 Simpang (Lao)
9 Sting (Rodd)
Margins & time: 4, nk, 3, ½, 1½, 1¼, 1, 7¾ (1:01.15)
Vist An Au was quickly into stride and led from Bilbo Baggins. Following them were Flamboyant and Muvuka. Spicy Cat and Sky Walker were still in it. They passed the 600m in that order and Vist An Au was first to straighten. Next came Bilbo Baggins and Flamboyant, nearest the rails.
With 200m to travel, Vist An Au was home and hosed and the mare went on to win in a canter. Flamboyant stayed on for second - beating off the fast-finishing Muvuka.