Grand Choice runs them ragged
Filibuster also impresses at yesterday's trials
The preliminaries are done. The education's over. Now comes the real thing and Grand Choice looks ready to start paying for his board and lodging.
Sent to the trials yet again yesterday - he's had eight so far - Grand Choice showed us a nice turn of foot over the 1,000m
Indeed, I reckon battling jockey CS Chin hasn't had an easier ride for a long time.
Jumping from Gate 2, the 34-year-old soon had the pack chasing his mount.
At the 600m, Grand Choice had put five lengths between himself and second-placed Fireworks.
The rest, including Middle Kingdom (Callan Murray), and Ben Thompson's mount, Hardcore, waited for him to stop.
They could have waited an eternity. Grand Choice never did shorten strides. He just kept up an incessant rhythm - pounding the Poly while throwing back dirt on those in his wake.
To their credit, Fireworks and Middle Kingdom and, even, Hardcore, didn't get the staggers. They were full of running - but, on the morning, Grand Choice had run them off their feet.
He would win by 61/4 lengths and, in the process, clock a fine time of 60.48sec for the trip - while carrying 64kg, mind you.
So, why hasn't he won a race? Well, that's because he has been there only three times. But here are the stats. He made his Kranji debut more than a year ago on Dec 1, 2017. That too, after trainer Dan Meagher had him trial six times. Just for the record, he won four of them.
When he did go to the races, it wasn't a grand debut. Although leading the field from the "off", Master Miner caught him in the shades of the winning post.
Back to "school" he went. He had two jump-outs at the trials before running third in a Restricted Maiden event in July last year.
Then, in August, he again banked in a small cheque for finishing third to Sun Ares.
Since then, Grand Choice hasn't been to the races but Meagher must have been doing something right, because his showing at yesterday's trials was truly full of merit.
Watch him the next time he goes to the races. He hasn't been there since August but, from what we have seen of him, he races best fresh.
Also impressive at the trials was Filibuster.
He didn't win it. Indeed, he finished third behind Pennywise and Chocante. But, as we now know, he was saving his heroics for the last and the way he powered home over the final 100m made all else in the trial look dull.
Ridden by JP Van Der Merwe, Filibuster was way back when the field had settled down to race. He was still in the boondocks at the 600m mark but just when all eyes were on Pennywise and Chocante, it was Filibuster who worked up a storm.
Trainer Cliff Brown would have been happy. Sparingly raced - he has had just two starts this year - Filibuster is hard to pin down. When he's good, he can be very good. He's won three races so far and in al three he flattened the opposition.
But when he's off his game, you'll see him just plodding home. So, which Filibuster will we see when he next goes racing? I'm putting my money on the Filibuster who can win.