Aftermath looks ready to rumble
Walker's Kranji newcomer wins applause at the trials
Down the stretch, the three-year-old and the seven-year-old matched strides. Like as if glued together, they went to the line locked like Siamese twins.
The three-year-old triumphed. The seven-year-old lost no marks in defeat.
On Tuesday morning at the trials, a print of the finish had to be called before it was judged that Aftermath had beaten Valorous by a slim margin.
If the names don't ring a bell, it's because seven-year-old Valorous used to race as So You Too while the youngster Aftermath is, well, a newcomer who has yet to face the starter at Kranji.
Trained by Mark Walker and Tim Fitzsimmons respectively, the winner and runner-up of Trial 3 raced in the shadow of another exciting racehorse, Moon Face.
For 900m they tracked the grey and, when Moon Face threw in the towel, the duel to the line began.
Stride for stride they went - Aftermath on the outside of Valorous. Saimee Jumaat on the Walker-trainer newcomer and Marc Lerner on the former Cliff Brown-trained runner.
Heads up. Heads down they went with Aftermath getting the nod.
While it was a battle to savour, the thing to note was the time. Both winner and runner-up dipped below the one-minute mark with Aftermath clocking 59.96sec for the 1,000m and Valorous coming in at 59.97sec.
Aside from the fact that Aftermath is by Spirit Of Boom and that he races in the colours of the Te Akau Racing Stable, not much is known about the trial winner.
However, what we do know is flattering. Back in Australia, Aftermath raced on city tracks and has a win from six starts.
Yes, he's no slouch. He's a good horse. Maybe even, above average and it will be interesting to see how he goes on debut.
As for Valorous, he's been knocking on the door and has two runner-up spots to show from a dozen outings at Kranji.
He switched trainers in February and, at his only outing for his new master, he finished down the course in that race won by Darc Bounty on Feb 27.
Owned by the Buffalo Stable, his next start will be his 13th. Maybe it'll turn out lucky for him.
Saimee and Walker combined again to take the fourth and last trial of the morning. The horse which did it for them was the speedster Latent Power.
Drawn the outside in that five-horse sprint, Latent Power did it his way.
He charged to the front and quickly put lengths between himself and the chasing pack.
Such was his early dash that, when the field was left with 600m to travel, Latent Power was four lengths clear of his nearest rival, Ninetysix Warrior - with the others strung out like loose beads on a cheap necklace.
Inside the final 150m, Don't Tell Tilly and Wind Of Dubai fashioned a charge home and although Latent Power had begun to shorten strides, he had enough petrol in the tank to prevail by a length.
His time for the 1,000m was 60.64sec. Smart enough to suggest another win shouldn't be too far away.