High fives ring out for Nova Swiss
Alwin Tan’s three-year-old continues his unbeaten record
Imagine for a moment, a football crowd in the stands at Kranji. Indeed, I can hear it in my mind - in chorus and swaying, they're bawling out that old favourite, "here we go, here we go, here we go again" as NOVA SWISS thunders to the front and clears away to take Race 5.
What a horse! Five wins from five starts.
Earlier, as the eight runners mingled behind the gates, Nova Swiss was this huge presence - like Usain Bolt in the company of some weekend joggers.
In the saddle, the Brazilian Manoel Nunes sat upright like some Titan. But the focus was on the three-year-old chestnut.
Then again, why not? Tipsters, presenters and punters expected nothing less than a grand show. They knew he possessed those two vital qualities - temperament and acceleration, so they banged the drum loudly for his impending victory.
They were right as Nova Swiss, with that tremendous engine on him, smashed the field to smithereens.
On reflection, it was as if he didn't just want to make it five in a row. He wanted to rub his rivals' noses in it. That's the mark of a good horse. Or, as his trainer Alwin Tan would say later: "A classic horse."
So how did the race pan out? As Nova Swiss wanted it, that's how!
Into the straight and the speedster Sebas had stolen a couple of lengths on the raging favourite.
It counted for little and there was no panic as, with 300m to go, Nova Swiss was stealing them back. Right there, the race was on his terms.
That was the part he liked. The end-game. The last throw. Make or break. Winner takes all.
Eventually, as we have become so accustomed to seeing, the son of Swiss Ace - backed down to $7 on the win tote - went to the line a good winner. Speedy Dragon came from his slipstream to take second with The General, running a gallant race, in third spot.
The margin was one and a quarter lengths - the "narrowest" of his five wins. But no one was out there with a measuring tape. We were just happy to have him among us.