Augustano looks ready
He has not been a revelation since the pandemic-hit racing programme restarted in July last year. Indeed, the best Augustano could show were two fourth-placed finishes.
One of those runs was at his last start and it was indicative of a horse that's ready to run a good race.
Augustano has been slotted for the $70,000 Class 3 sprint over 1,400m on Saturday. He was put through his paces on the training track yesterday morning and impressed, running the 600m in 39.3sec.
Apprentice Rosman Iskandar was the man in the saddle and, if he gets the ride on Saturday, his 3kg claim could offset the 58kg which Augustano has been asked to shoulder.
From Lee Freedman's yard, Augustano has won close to half a million dollars for his owners, the King Power Stable.
That said, the last time he saluted the judge was way back in August of 2019.
The good news is, he seems to be on a comeback trail and, while the task on Saturday does look formidable, you can bet on Freedman having him turned out looking like a million bucks.
While the Class 3 sprint is the ''main'' race, so to speak, the real excitement should surface in the Class 4 flyer over the 1,200m on the Poly.
Some promising youngsters will line up to do battle. Among them, we have four last-start winners.
They are The Archer, What You Like, Overcoming and Lim's Bestbreaker. Unfortunately for racing fans who savour a good battle, three of them are currently ''reserves'' in this capacity field.
However, that didn't stop first reserve Lim's Bestbreaker for turning up on the training track where, with CC Wong astride, he ran the 37.6sec.
The others in Saturday's field who turned up for training were My Big Boss, Legend Of The Sun and the very exciting Gentlemen Excellent.
Back to Lim's Bestbreaker, he has turned out to be quite a money-spinner for the Lim's Stable and he has put together two wins and two runner-up shows from just eight starts.
At his last start on Jan 16, he won a Class 4 race and, although the winning margin was less than a length, it was dominant.
Slow to begin, he was still second last with 200m to travel. But he unleashed a terrific finish which left his rivals stranded in no-man's land.
That was on the Polytrack, as was his other win in November. Here is a horse with a future.
The same could be said for Gentlemen Excellent. With Matthew Kellady in the saddle, he worked like a winner, clocking 37.2sec for the 600m.
Beaten convincingly by Knight Love on debut, Gentlemen Excellent had excuses. He received a check early in the race and later was crowded in traffic.
Still, he came home well to take the purse for second. A winning show should come sooner rather than later.
My Big Boss and Legend Of The Sun, who also worked yesterday, clocked 39.4sec and 34sec respectively.