Gritty win by Whistle Grand
Circuit Mission breaks one-minute mark when winning last of three barrier trials
On a relatively quiet Tuesday morning with just three trials, Whistle Grand and Circuit Mission provided the sparks which kept the occasion interesting.
Whistle Grand revved it up when engaging Aramaya in a duel over the concluding stages of the 1,000m hit-out on the Polytrack.
After the starter got them off on even terms, Whistle Grand (Ruan Maia) and Aramaya (T Krisna) sat behind the pace.
Out in front, the two "stars" - Hero Star and Healthy Star - went at it with hammer and tongs, with Gold Rush holding a watching brief in third spot.
The action began when the runners hit the home stretch.
Aramaya and Whistle Grand tossed in their bids and soon had the trial to themselves.
Heads up, heads down they raced to the line, with Whistle Grand getting the verdict by a shorthead. Trailing in third spot was Gold Rush, the mount of CC Wong.
Whistle Grand clocked 61.54sec for the trip.
Prepared by former top local jockey Leslie Khoo, Whistle Grand won his last start with a blistering run down the stretch.
He had come from near last in that 1,200m contest to beat Blitz Power by two lengths. Although it was a Class 5 race, it was still a massive showing.
It was in November last year - when all was well with the world - that Whistle Grand opened his Kranji account. There's more to come from the five-year-old.
As for Aramaya, he's a work in progress. He has raced three times but has yet to start paying for his feed and accommodation. But watch for improvement.
In the final trial, Circuit Mission impressed when winning in a smart 59.93sec.
Still to have a race post-lockdown, he is definitely working towards a big comeback.
Tuesday's trial was his third since July and the best hit-out so far. He had earlier finished second behind Nowyousee and third behind Pennywise.
The latest trial saw him come from way back to mow down everything before him with A'Isisuhairi Kasim aboard.
Circuit Mission was being groomed for big things after he put together a hat-trick early last year. But all plans were scuttled by Covid-19. Under Lee Freedman's guidance, he's getting his act together.
Watch for his comeback.
Tuesday's barrier trial results
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Sure Will Do (WW Cheah) 2 Speed Racer (JP van der Merwe) 3 Strong N Smart (S John) 4 Winning Monster (CK Ng) 5 Supreme Happiness (T Rehaizat)
Margins and time: 1½, 1¾, shd, 5¼ (1:00.94)
1 Whistle Grand (R Maia) 2 Aramaya (T Krisna) 3 Gold Rush (CC Wong) 4 Healthy Star (K A'Isisuhairi) 5 Hero Star 6 Oud Wood (WH Kok)
Margins and time: Shd, 1¼, 1¾, 5½, 5¼ (1:01.54)
1 Circuit Mission (A'Isisuhairi) 2 Lonhro Gold (J See) 3 First Chief (B Woodworth) 4 Miracle (Maia) 5 Winning Spirit (Ng) 6 Per Incrown 7 Eunos Ave Three (M Lerner) 8 Red Claw
Margins and time: ½, ½, nk, ½, 3, 10¼, 1½ (59.93)