Grand Koonta in tearaway show
In one fell swoop, Grand Koonta gave his rivals a galloping lesson.
If he could speak, he would have said: "This is how you do it, chaps."
Competing against nine others in the solitary trial held yesterday morning, Grand Koonta put on a winning show, running the 1,000m trip in a smart 59.93sec - easing up.
Vlad Duric was in the saddle and the champ could not have asked for an easier morning workout.
Then again, the victory was expected. After all, Grand Koonta was head and shoulders above his rivals as far as rating points were concerned.
Sitting at 103 points, it was like the master competing against the pupils.
In the end, that's how it panned out. Grand Koonta whipped the field by almost five lengths.
Rocketship, ridden by Wong Chin Chuen , had to settle for second - a length ahead of Dragon Tycoon, who had apprentice Krisna Thangamani.
As for the trial itself, it was a masterclass performance from Grand Koonta, a horse who has been off the boil recently.
Indeed, Grand Koonta has not raced since May 22. That day, when competing in the Kranji Mile, he finished in 10th spot. Dismal is the word for it.
Then again, there were excuses. The 1,600m was not his pet distance.
That said, Grand Koonta's last visit to the winner's circle was in January. It was his sixth win and the last six months have been barren.
But, he is certainly running into some kind of form and it could pay to keep tabs on his progress.
So, you must be curious. What about Rocketship? After all, any horse with the word "Rocket" and coming out of Ricardo Le Grange's yard must be treated with respect.
Can Rocketship live up to those other "Rockets"?
We'll see. For now, let's just say she is far from the finished product. Like a piece of art, more brushstrokes are needed before she can claim to be a standout.
She cost a pretty penny when sold for US$125,000 (S$170,000) as a two-year-old.
She is maturing nicely and we will be watching her career closely.
Yesterday's Kranji barrier trial results
1 Grand Koonta (V Duric)
2 Rocketship (CC Wong)
3 Dragon Tycoon (T Krisna)
4 Candy Rain (O Chavez)
5 Big Fortune (S John)
6 JK Formidable (J See)
7 Simlong Beach (K A'Isisuhairi)
8 Fortune Star
9 Palmaria (M Lerner)
10 Strike For Shining (N Zyrul)
Margins and time: 4¾ , 1, 1, 1¼, ½, ¾ , 3¼, 3¾ , 3 (59.93 sec)