Frontrunners call the shots
Yes One Ball, Barbeque and Boom Shakalaka score at the trials
It was on a damp and drizzly Tuesday morning that frontrunners stole the show at the trials.
Indeed, the order of the day could easily have been, lead and stay there. So it was, we saw Yes One Ball, Barbecue and Boom Shakalaka do just that.
They pinched the lead when the chutes flew open and stayed in front all the way over the 1,000m trip on the Polytrack.
Yes One Ball, so to speak, got the ball rolling.
With apprentice Krisna Thangamani holding the reins, Yes One Ball scooted to the front and held off the challenge of Adipson - who was having a 1,000m test ordered by the vets - and Valencia.
Himself having a starting stall test, which he passed with flying colours, the three-year-old had a three-length break on Valencia on straightening. He was not the least bothered when Cizen Lucky threw in a challenge 250m out.
Going at a steady clip, he went to the line with a length to spare, clocking 60.49sec for the trip. Valencia held on for second, with Cizen Lucky third.
Trained by Ricardo Le Grange, Yes One Ball has been trying to break through but without success. His closest was a third to Eunos Ave Three and Voluntad over 1,200m on Dec 5.
Expect improvement from him in his next start.
What about Barbeque?
Unlike Yes One Ball, he has already got a victory but it has been a long wait between drinks for his owners, the Te Akau Racing Stable, which would love to see him win another race.
Partnered by Kranji's only female trider, Jerlyn Seow Poh Hui, Barbeque cleared the gates like its tail was on fire. Once in front, the chestnut never looked back.
Seow looked like she, too, did not want to surrender. When challenged by Pindus and Our Pinnacle, Seow stoked the fire and Barbeque sizzled.
Challenged over the concluding stages, the six-year-old stayed focused and ran out a 1/2- length winner.
Pindus took second.
Trained by Mark Walker, Barbeque has won once from 17 starts. It is a modest statistic, given the fact that, before being flown out here to continue his racing, he won a 1,700m race worth $120,000 at Flemington in Melbourne.
Barbeque, a third reserve in Saturday's Class 4, 1,700m race, has been scratched. Keep him in view for another day.
Finally, there is Boom Shakalaka. He was all-conquering and he provided a fitting finale to the morning.
Ridden by Troy See and jumping from an outside gate, he easily found the front.
Elliot Ness was a pain in his side for most of the trip. But, like his name seems to suggest, Boom Shakalaka exploded at the 150m mark.
He must have given Elliot Ness windburn. After all, when the finish came up, he was 11/2 lengths clear - and drawing away. Trainer Tim Fitzsimmons would have been pleased with his four-year-old.