Inferno burns up training track
Cliff Brown's champ most impressive in morning workout
It was just a week ago that we zeroed in on Inferno as a horse to follow. That, after he turned in a super trial.
To recap, he had Vlad Duric on the reins and Inferno ran that trial like only he knew how.
In that nine-horse jump-out was Countofmontecristo and the multiple Group winner looked a shoo-in when he hit the front at the 200m mark. But, with ease, Inferno ate into his lead, went to the front and, with plenty of cheek, drew away to win in an impressive 59.56sec.
I said then, it couldn't get better than that. Well, it did.
At trackwork yesterday morning, Inferno again caught the eye when, with Duric in the saddle, he gave his stablemate Miraaj a couple of lengths' headstart before reeling him in to run the 600m in 38.5sec.
Inferno is the real thing.
Unbeaten in his first four race starts beginning in July last year, the sequence was broken in his fifth start when he was beaten by Siam Warrior in a Class 3 sprint.
That was on Feb 29 and, to be honest, Inferno had excuses. Jumping from Gate 10 in that 11-horse affair, he was obliged to race wide for most of the trip and dropped back further than was desired.
Still, and although he came home like he had the devil in pursuit, he could not make up for that early deficit. Siam Warrior had pinched too big a lead and was home and hosed.
Siam Warrior is now racing with the big boys in Class 2 and will see action on Saturday.
As for Inferno, he will continue to ply his trade in Class 3 company and, while he has five last-start winners entered for that race, it would be suicidal to ignore the four-time winner.
Yes, Inferno looks to be the one. He gets the turf - which he loves - and with the race being run over his preferred 1,200m, he certainly looks a standout.
Shooting for five strikes in a row, Mr Malek also drew attention to his chances with a smart gallop over the 600m in 37.7sec. He had A'Isisuhairi Kasim atop.
A four-year-old, Mr Malek has been a regular moneyspinner for the Oscar Racing Stable.
Since running third in his debut in July last year, he has put together a four-bagger, beginning with that awesome display some 12 months ago, when he crushed his opponents by almost five lengths to win that "Restricted" race over the 1,200m on turf.
His work seemingly done for 2019, he raced three times this season for three wins. Mr Malek is hardly the finished product and his upcoming duel with Rocket Star on Saturday will be something to savour.
A'Isisuhairi, who steered Minister to a smart win last Sunday, was also astride Muraahib for his workout yesterday. Another one from the Oscar Racing Stable, Muraahib covered the 600m in 37.5sec.
Since winning a Class 3 event in September last year, the six-year-old has been knocking on the door - but it hasn't opened for him.
Last time out in a Class 1 sprint, he finished a gallant third to Skywalk. If he can reproduce that form, and coupled with the benefit of yesterday's hit-out, the Lee Freedman-trained speedster could break his sequence of placings.