Hugo looms into the picture
Saturday's runner tunes up with smart win at the trials
He has been pencilled in by trainer Stephen Gray to take on some classy pieces of horseflesh in Saturday's Kranji Stakes "A" race over 1,400m.
On paper, Hugo has been sent out on an impossible mission.
A galloper with a rating of 71 taking on the likes of Top Knight and Lim's Lightning, both on 100 points.
Sounds preposterous, right?
But this is horse racing - not quantum physics. And we have seen stranger things happen on the track.
So, why not? Why not pit Hugo against more highly rated rivals?
After all, he has cashed in more than $250,000 for Gray, who owns the gelding, and we have seen Hugo run some pretty decent races.
Sure, his last few runs are best swept under the carpet.
For the record, he finished down the course at his last five starts.
But let's focus on the positives and aside from the fact that he has previously beaten Class 3 rivals, Hugo turned in a good trial at Kranji yesterday morning.
Ridden by the Frenchman Marc Lerner, Hugo won with plenty of authority.
First to break from the 1,000m start, Lerner snagged him back to sit behind the pace set by Excelling, the mount of Matthew Kellady.
There he stayed - keeping Webster (Danny Beasley), Absolvido (Simon Kok) and Trumpy (Oscar Chavez) following closely behind.
With 200m to travel, Hugo went full throttle.
Although he could not pull right away from Excelling, he still took the trial by three parts of a length.
For not going fast early, Hugo still clocked a decent 61.27sec for 1,000m on the Polytrack.
Not a flashy type, Hugo has been to the trials numerous times but that win on Tuesday was a "first" for this son of Smart Missile.
It could mean that he has found some form. That being the case, do not write him off too easily.
There is still plenty of racing left in those legs of his.
So, give him some thought when you are planning those quartet bets. Slip him in somewhere. It might be worth your while.
Elsewhere at the trials, Kimitonara also impressed.
Ridden by Wong Chin Chuen, he streaked away over the final 200m like he had the hounds from hell snapping at his heels.
In the end, he put more than five lengths between himself and second-placed Diamond Ring, who was three lengths clear of third-placed New Garden.
All the while with trainer Steven Burridge, Kimitonara has put together two wins from his 11 starts.
The first of those was in October 2019 and the next time he greeted the judge was five months later, in March last year.
He has been sparingly raced this season, having had just three unplaced starts.
Last time out, on May 22, he was obliged to race wide and without cover for most of the 1,400m trip.
But he plodded on well to finish fifth - and less than three lengths behind the winner, Our Pinnacle.
Kimitonara is still a work in progress and there are more wins to come from this son of Star Witness.
Keep him on your shortlist.