Freedman's pair loom large
Augustano and Muraahib show up on training track
It was just yesterday that we singled out the Class 2 sprint on Sunday as being something to savour. We highlighted Pennywise after the four-year-old turned in a fluent gallop in preparation for the showdown.
Well, to throw kerosene onto the fire, yesterday morning saw two more runners from the same race strut their stuff on the training track and they too must now go into the mix.
We're talking about the Lee Freedman-trained pair of Augustano and Muraahib.
In separate gallops, both five-year-olds impressed no end. Apprentice N Zyrul was on Augustano when he covered the 600m in 37.8sec while Muraahib returned 39.3sec for the same trip.
Topweight in Race 8 on Sunday, Augustano has been humming along like a finely-tuned machine on four legs.
Take away that unplaced show on Sept 27 when his gameplan was upset by a rain-affected track, Augustano's form numbers show a hat-trick of wins beginning with that fighting nose victory over Revolution in early June and culminating with that half-length win in Class 2 company on Aug 30.
It was nine days ago that Augustano had a trial and he passed with flying colours, beating Federation by almost a length when clocking 60.23sec for the 1,000m.
I reckon, he's back in business.
As for Muraahib, well, we could say he's only just begun.
Like an outline on a canvas in an artist's studio, Freedman has done the sketching and the picture is taking shape.
But it is still a work in progress.
To date, Muraahib has had four runs and the form numbers beside his name read 3-2-1-4.
Actually, that last-start fourth placing in that race won by Yabadabadoo on Oct 20 was just a blemish.
It was his first start in Class 2. It was over the longer 1,400m and on grass. He jumped from a gate near the BKE and had to race wide - without cover - for most of the trip.
If there was a recipe which guaranteed the soup turned sour, that was it. All the forces were against him.
It could be a different story on Sunday. He's on the Poly and over the much-preferred 1,200m. He will jump from seven and will be guided along the way by JP van der Merwe.
With Pennywise and Augustano and even Lim's Dream in the line-up, it will be interesting to see the kind of brushstrokes Freedman employs on his work of art.
If you are at the races on Sunday, stay on for Race 9 and have a punt on Super Smart. He wound up his preparation with a speedy 36.6sec workout.
Trained by KY Young, the four-year-old has had 10 starts for three wins, three seconds, a third and a fourth.
It was with Benny Woodworth in the saddle that he won his first race. That was in March and it was also over the 1,000m which is the distance he has to cover on Sunday.
Woodworth hops onto likely favourite Red Rover while apprentice Amirul gets on board Super Smart. If he lives up to his name, he could give the rest a run for their money.