Autumn Assault set for a big comeback
The best from Tuesaday morning's trials at Kranji
It's been more than half a year since we last saw Autumn Assault at the races.
Well, the next time he does face the starter, it could pay to have a wager on him.
We reckon his work on the training track and at the trials has been building up to a winning comeback.
Indeed, Autumn Assault was at the trials on Tuesday morning and he ticked all boxes.
Ridden by former jockey Richard Lim, Autumn Assault came home with a huge run to leave his nine rivals stranded.
Sure, the winning margin was just half a length but the four-year-old was going away from the rest at the finish.
Had it been an 1,100m trial, instead of the standard 1,000m, Autumn Assault would have put daylight between himself and the rest.
Still, his current trainer Steven Burridge would have been pleased.
Formerly with David Kok before moving house and taking up residence at Burridge's barn, Autumn Assault has since had three trials and Tuesday's showing truly impressed.
One of the swiftest to clear the chute, Lim quickly snagged him back and they had a posse ahead of them when they made that first turn on the far side.
Easy South East was in that leading bunch, so too Trigamy and Fabulous One.
Content to watch them go, Lim and Autumn Assault were still in the trailing bunch when they straightened for the run home.
Racing wide but with clear room ahead of him, Lim timed his run to perfection.
And when he asked Autumn Assault for a response close home, the horse gave all and raced clear to beat Ocean Crossing and Inferno.
Last time out in a race, when "ridden quietly", Autumn Assault ran a gallant third to Top Knight in a Class 3 sprint over the 1,400m.
That was then. More recently, the bay ran a splendid trial finishing second to Mig Pierro. That day, when carrying 71kg, Autumn Assault clocked 60.78sec for the 1,000m.
Right now, he looks to be nearing the peak of his powers and a win first time back after the break would come as no great surprise.
Another one who impressed on Tuesday morning was the Oscar Racing Stable-owned Muraahib.
Held in third spot by Alysha Collett and still three lengths adrift of Unconquered and Harbour Approach at the 200m mark, Muraahib was given rein only 150m from home.
Lengthening strides and champing on the bit, he easily dumped Unconquered by the wayside but the post came too soon and Harbour Approach got home by half a length.
Still, in defeat, Muraahib lost no marks. He had run the trip in 60.44sec.
A winner of four races in Australia before being sent over to continue his racing, Muraahib has already started paying for his keep.
Last time out on Sept 15, he won with a leg in the air, cruising in by 21/2 lengths in a 1,200m race on the Polytrack.
Muraahib is better than that. Much, much better.