Black Mamba spits venom in smart trial win
Horseplayers will be quick to point out that you shouldn't go wild at the windows on a horse who hasn't raced in more than a year.
It's sound advice but sometimes it could pay to buck the trend and I am going to suggest you do just that with BLACK MAMBA, who faces the starter on Sunday after being in cotton wool since early January last year.
Prepared for the races by champion trainer Alwin Tan, the five-year-old ticked all the boxes when winning his trial - which also served as a starting stalls test - at Kranji yesterday morning.
Ridden by Olivier Placais, who has struck up a fine partnership with Tan, Black Mamba was away okay at barrier rise and was happy to race with cover until the 600m mark where he took control of things.
Happy to travel wide and away from the traffic, he gave Placais a sedan-chair ride until the 50m mark when he needed to be scrubbed on the neck to keep his mind on the job.
That worked and Black Mamba went on to win with a length to spare.
Forget the time. If you must know, he did the 1,000m in a slow 63.96sec. But it wasn't too bad, considering that none of the six trials winners broke 62.
Back to the task at hand, which is that comeback race on Sunday, perhaps a reminder is in order.
A reminder that this "deadly reptile" can race well when fresh.
He won on debut - coming from last to beat Super Eight over the 1,200m on the turf. That was in July 2014 and it doesn't come fresher than that.
It was a long wait - 16 months, if counting - until he collected his second win and his last success came 12 months ago when he ran a lung-buster to beat Racer King over the 1,200m on the Poly.
Over the break, Black Mamba wasn't idle. Tan got him into six trials, the last four being run in January alone.
Coupled with his hit-out yesterday, I reckon he's ready to return in style.
Back to the other action at the trials.
Don't anyone tell BORN TOFLY that he's nine years old and ready for pension and pasture.
Obviously he doesn't know it. How else to explain his winning show yesterday?
Yes, it was a good show by Born To Fly who put up a good display when romping home with a nicely timed run after taking an opening between horses at the 200m mark.
Truly a grand old fella, his last start was in the Saas Fee Stakes where he finished down the course.
Forget that one.
There's still fire in those flanks and it wouldn't surprise if, in his next start or thereabouts, he rolls back the years with a gallant show.
Yesterday's Kranji barrier trials results
1 Webster (D Beasley)
Time: 1min 03.82sec.
1 Black Mamba (O Placais)
2 Lizaz (V Duric)
3 Kokoni (I Amirul)
4 Allez (M Nunes)
5 Third Rock (S Shafrizal)
Margins and time: 1, ns, 2½, ¾ (1:03.96).
1 Miss Elysium (H Syafiq)
2 Mr Miura (I Saifudin)
3 Elite Silencer (M Rodd)
4 Alphanova (Duric)
5 Oliver (Beasley)
6 Risky Rockefeller (Placais)
7 Lady Iffraaj (R Shafiq)
Margins and time: 2, ¾, 5, 3, 12¼, 36¼ (1:05.07).
1 Born To Fly
2 Charlies Missile (Placais)
3 Von Krumm (M Kellady)
4 Lim's Dashing (Beasley)
5 Millennium's Rule (Duric)
6 Taramea (Amirul)
Margins and time: 1¾, shd, nk, 1, ½ (1:03.81).
1 Panache (Syafiq)
2 Kate's Keeper (Amirul)
3 Satellite Power (T See)
4 Pratt Street (Z Zuriman)
5 Brilliant One (Duric)
6 Castle Queen (A Munro)
Margins and time: 2, shd, ½, 3½, 6¼ (1:02.57).
1 Red Duke (Duric)
2 Darci's Boy (Zuriman)
3 Morales (K A'Isisuhairi)
4 River Gold (B Woodworth)
5 Baymax (T See)
6 Lim's Blast (Beasley)
Margins and time: Shd, 3, ¾, 1½, ¾ (1:04.10).