Neo's Classic good for a win
Kranji meeting preview
It is always dicey picking a Class 5 runner as the day's best bet. We all know, they're unreliable - which explains why they are where they are.
But as I scanned the runners in the fifth race, a Class 5 event, NEO'S CLASSIC seemed to leap out from the page.
A hard worker who had four runs as a two-year-old, he broke the duck in his seventh start but then seemed to go into hibernation.
That win was in October and it must be said that jockey Mark Ewe rode a masterful race to bring home the young galloper.
Indeed, it was a solid all-the-way show. Then, for six months, zilch. Nothing. Until his last couple of races where he finished third and fourth.
In his defence, he seemed to invite incidents in his races. Until recently, he has featured in the Stewards Reports for all the wrong reasons - like suffering interference, getting checked and having to race wide.
Still, just last month when finishing third, he put half a length between himself and Bonjour Bob.
Then, a fortnight ago, he cashed in a small cheque when fourth to Hidden Promise.
Again, he didn't get any favours in that race but still ran on like a good horse.
Indeed, for all of his stops and starts, this humble campaigner is still a three-year-old and he's learning as he goes along.
But I believe the education's done. Trainer David Kok, who has been patient with his charge, has smoothened out the rough edges and added on some polish.
And, to help him along further, Neo's Classic will, for the first time in seven months and 10 race starts, get the services of a senior jockey.
And not just any jockey. He gets Kranji's leading man Vlad Duric and that switch does look to be worth a couple of lengths.
So, can the dashing hoop lead this Class 5 youngster back into the winner's enclosure?
Why not? This is racing.