Battle Of Troy is no wooden horse
Kranji barrier trials
They sent him out for a blinkers test on Tuesday morning. He came back as a horse on many a watch list.
Such was the showing from BATTLE OF TROY.
Ridden by last season's top apprentice CC Wong, the son of Flying Spur was most impressive - from the jump-out and especially in the closing stages of the 1,000m test.
Clearing the chute like a seasoned campaigner, Battle Of Troy led for the first 100m before Wong snagged him back to take a sit in third spot, behind the frenetic pace set by DREAM COMES TRUE and TAICHI BELT.
There he stayed, content as can be.
Into the home stretch and he was still hugging the rails and looking at the rumps of Dream Comes True and Taichi Belt.
But he soon grew tired of the "view" and, with 150m to travel, Wong decided to make a race of it.
Peeling Battle Of Troy to the outside of the two frontrunners, he coaxed his mount into overdrive.
Battle Of Troy was ever willing to obey. With the wind in his face and clear running to his right, he made light of the 60kg he was carrying, quickly drew alongside the leader before saying "gotcha" as he cleared away to beat Dream Comes True - the mount of I Saifudin - by a length.
Taichi Belt, who stayed second for most of the journey, had no answer to the winner's acceleration over the concluding stages and had to be content to take third.
But it was all about Battle Of Troy who ran the trip in 60.64sec.
The four-year-old from trainer Desmond Koh's yard is better than the results of his last three runs seem to suggest.
It was a devilish show on March 26 when he stayed 6-6-6 in the six-horse Super Easy Stakes won by Time Odyssey.
Then, on April 7, when backed down to second-favourite, he was obliged to race wide throughout. It didn't help his cause and he ended up sixth of 12 runners in that 1,400m race.
Then, last time out, in the Stewards' Cup on May 28, he never landed a blow and again finished sixth when friendless on course.
That said, Battle Of Troy is running into some good form. At Tuesday's trials, he showed plenty of desire and the hard eye of a contender.
Watch him the next time he goes to the races. With natural progression, trainer Koh should present him in the mounting yard looking hard as a brick and ready for battle.
Earlier in the morning, "CC" was in the saddle of another of Koh's runners and, like Battle Of Troy, PHIDIAS also caught the eye.
Granted, he didn't win. He didn't even finish second. But his third-place finish was highly commendable.
Having a blinkers test, he jumped well from Gate 3 and was quickly slotted into third spot - and wide.
Into the stretch and Wong had him on a tight hold. Indeed, he never gave him any rein and Phidias went to the line looking better than the two who beat him.
Phidias has a date with the starter in Race 1 on Sunday and it will pay to factor him into your calculations when you're mapping out your betting plan for that Kranji Stakes "D" race.