Al-Arabiya horses gear up for 2018
Highlights from yesterday's Kranji trackwork
On their powerful showing in the just-concluded racing season, the Al-Arabiya Stable is set to light up the action even more when 2018 kicks in.
Their horses were a revelation in 2017 and while we saw a clutchful of talent racing in their colours, there could be plenty more under wraps and ready to explode on the scene.
On Tuesday morning, we saw Ateej being put through his paces with The General and they looked sharp - running the 600m in 37sec.
The Argentine-bred Ateej had two starts in 2017 and, for finishing second in both of those races, he pumped up the coffers of his connections.
Then, on the training track yesterday morning we saw another Al-Arabiya talent being sharpened up and he certainly caught the eye of clockers at trackside.
The horse was last-start winner Za'eem and, in the company of the very swift and efficient Mokastar - himself a last-start winner - they ran the 600m in 36.8sec.
Za'eem, who is prepared by Ricardo Le Grange, was always touted as a good thing and on debut, punters sent him off as their second pick.
Alas, and after coming from near last, he failed to peg back Silent Prince.
To his credit, he got it all together in his second start. Coming off a good sit when they turned for home, he won that Open Maiden race by half a length.
On that showing, I would expect Za'eem to be one of Al-Arabiya's standard bearers in the new season.
As for Mokastar, who is owned by Tmen Stable, he too will blossom in the new year.
His last-start victory, where he beat another Al-Arabiya runner in Shaaqra, was done in fine style.
Two-and-a-half lengths was the margin of victory. It could have been a street.
Also impressive from the gallops at Kranji yesterday morning were Wonderful, Fortune Winner and Absolute Miracle.
Wonderful breezed over the 600m in 35.8sec with Matt Kellady on the reins.
Fortune Winner clocked 37.5sec for the same trip while Absolute Winner showed speed when stopping the clocks at 35.1sec.
The thing that these three runners have in common is the fact that they all won in January 2017.
Indeed, Fortune Winner won on the opening day while Absolute Miracle won twice that month - on Jan 6 and later on Jan 29.
As for Wonderful, he scored his only win of the year in late January.
So, should you see their names among the entries for the New Year Meeting on Jan 1, have a sentimental punt on them.
They just might give you that jump-start into the new season.