Placais puts Red Claw through a winning workout
Trainer Daniel Meagher's runner takes on a beatable field on Sunday
Sure, he was well beaten by The Capital. Two-and-a-half lengths was the margin. An eternity in racing. But, even the most discerning racegoer would agree there was plenty to like about RED CLAW and, you would think with "natural progression", his winning turn couldn't be too far off.
Well, we saw that improvement on the training track yesterday when Red Claw put in a good workout, running the 600m in a nice 41.8sec.
He had Olivier Placais doing the steering.
Sure, it wasn't the fastest of gallops, but the gloating could come after Sunday's race where he meets a beatable field over the 1,400m on the turf.
Prepared for the races by Daniel Meagher, Red Claw knows what racing is all about, having plied his trade in Australia where he paid for his feed before being flown out here to continue his career.
A solid "worker", Red Claw won a trial before being sent out for his debut.
That day at the trials late last month, he beat Khudawand over the 1,000m, clocking a a good time of 60.82sec with 65kg on his back.
And just last week, Placais took him out for another spin at the trials. He won that one too, beating Iron Man by the bob of the heads. He was a tad slower that day, clocking 61.04secs for the same trip.
Red Claw does look good to go and he must figure in your calculations when mapping out your betting strategy for Sunday's sprint.
Also on Sunday, don't let SECRET SQUIRREL get away from you.
The son of Exceed And Excel had Troy See in the saddle when he breezed over the 600m in 39.1sec. It was a good piece of work by the four-year-old from trainer John O'Hara's yard.
With four runs under his girth, you had to be impressed with his last two runs.
Indeed, it was on Feb 5 when he could have had his photo taken with his connections.
However, after looking the winner when they straightened for the run home, Secret Squirrel was nabbed on the line by River Gold in a finish which needed a print to determine the winner.
Last time out on March 12 when sent off as the $10 favourite, he again found one to beat when Mr Jackson came with a pulverising run deny him victory. Stick with him. Secret Squirrel deserved a win and he should be third time lucky.
Before that, on Friday night, keep a watchful eye on CHALAZA. Gunning for a hat-trick, he stopped the clock at 39.8sec yesterday morning. Danny Beasley was the man in charge.
Trained by Steven Burridge, the four-year-old won his last two starts in businesslike fashion and I reckon we should see more from him.