Don De La Vega does it slowly but surely
Three-year-old from Cliff Brown's yard is top at the trials
It wasn't the swiftest of trials. Indeed, if you were taking notes, it would have been the slowest of the six recorded that Tuesday morning.
But the manner in which Don De La Vega won his trial was indicative of a really good horse in the making.
Not the neatest out of the chute, he was last of five when they made the turn at the far side.
Battle Plan led the way, followed by Little Big Man and Quetzal.
And they seemed to be running in contempt of the clock.
Heading to the 600m, Don De La Vega, with Michael Rodd sitting stone cold in the saddle, was content to stay fourth - and wide.
But when they straightened, the Cliff Brown-trained runner made his move.
Given an unrestricted run wide out, he gradually began to carve a path that eventually had him on level terms with the rest.
A hundred metres to travel and Rodd clicked his mount into action. Battle Plan made a fight of it.
Alas, to no avail. The "Don" had momentum on his side and he took the trial by a neck. His time for the 1,000m was 62.88sec.
Refresh, from David Kok's yard and ridden by Vlad Duric, stayed on for third - three parts of a length in arrears.
An Australian-bred, Don De La Vega had a chockful of trials before making his race debut in late July.
It was an inauspicious first outing and he finished ninth of 14 in race won by Refresh, who he beat rather handily on Tuesday.
He banked in some money for a fourth placing in his next start and, last time out he had his best result to date when second to Silent Boss in a race run over the 1,400m.
The "Don" takes on a strong Restricted Maiden event (Race 2) on Sunday.
There's Flash from James Peters yard and Tesoro Privado, who is prepared by Ricardo Le Grange.
See No Evil, from Michael Clements outfit and Leslie Khoo's Basilik represent a formidable quartet.
But if he brings his A-game to the races on Sunday, Don De La Vega should be able to make them do his bidding.
Also on Tuesday, Kingsman - who was having a blinkers and pacifiers test - strode away over the concluding stages to register a smart win. MM Firdhaus did the steering.
It was a vast improvement from his first trial earlier in the month when he beat just one home.
From the in-form stables of trainer Mark Walker, Kingsman led a tight bunch of four runners 200m out but gradually dismissed all challenges to win as he liked.
A winner in New Zealand where he had 11 starts, the son of Darci Brahma knows what it is all about and it wouldn't surprise if he does real well at his Kranji debut.
Tuesday's Kranji barrier trials results
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
2 Vistara (J Powell)
3 Provocateur (C Grylls)
4 Workaholic (M Nunes)
Margins and time: (1min 01.66sec)
TRIAL 2 (ORT)
1 Magic Wand (Nunes)
2 Alamak (V Duric)
3 Beautiful Day (CC Wong)
4 Waitahanui (G Boss)
5 Green Missile (B Vorster)
Margins and time: (1:01.39)
1 Kingsman (MM Firdaus)
2 Lucky Stride (D David)
3 Claudia's Beauty (Z Zuriman)
4 Power Ranger (S Noh)
5 Harveywallbanger (M Rodd)
Margins and time: (1:02.29)
1 Maximus (T See)
2 Justice Smart (Noh)
3 Magic City (Nunes)
4 Lim's Shot
Margins and time: (1:02.31)
1 Don De La Vega (Rodd)
2 Battle Plan (Grylls)
3 Refresh (Duric)
4 Quetzal (See)
5 Little Big Man
Margins and time: (1:02.88)
1 Invincible Man (N Zyrul)
2 Rin Tin Tin (Noh)
3 Super Power (Vorster)
4 Kranji Gold (Rodd)
5 Silver Power (Duric)
6 Navagio (Powell)
7 Grey Gatsby (I Amirul)
Margins and time: (1:01.74)