Racing

Nova Strike breaks 60sec in smart trial

The best from yesterday's trials at Kranji

Trainer Alwin Tan's NOVA STRIKE was the proverbial morning star at the trials yesterday.

And for good reason. The multiple winner who is vying membership to Kranji's millionaire's club, was in his element on the Polytrack, winning his trial in a swift time of 59.41sec.

Not the fastest out of the gates, he seemed content to track the leaders - Cadet and Glamorous - down the back stretch.

He was widest of the three when they made that sweeping left-hander - but it was obvious he was travelling better than anything and everyone else in the field.

Three hundred metres out and Derreck David still had Nova Strike on a choke hold but, with 200m to travel, he gave him some rein.

In an instant, the chestnut had swept to the front and if David had sneaked a peek behind, he would have seen Nooresh Juglall and Alan Munro - the riders of Cadet and Glamorous - nursing windburn.

It was all Nova Strike over the concluding stages and he would go on to put a length and three-quarters between himself and second-placed Cadet.

As far as wins are concerned, Nova Strike does seem to be down in the dumps.

He hasn't posted a victory in eight starts dating back to October last year when he won for the seventh time. But they say you cannot put a good man down. Same too with our four-legged friends.

Nova Strike is long overdue for another victory and I won't bet on it NOT happening soon.

Also at the trials we saw HIP HIP HOORAY punch home a good win. He clocked 60.35sec. That wasn't as fast as Nova Strike but it was enough to see his name go into many notebooks. Hip Hip Hooray has not won since that debut success in late October. But while the deadheaters - War Affair and Storm Troops - hogged the headlines in the Saas Fee Stakes just last month, he was the quiet achiever who finished third in that blanket finish.

Watch him the next time he goes to the races. He could soon be hitting a purple patch of form.

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