Inferno proves too hot to handle
Last season's Champion Two-Year-Old tops the trials
He raced just once this season and, like we have come to expect from him, he gave 110 per cent.
On the day, it wasn't enough for him to secure victory as Siam Warrior proved too nippy and Inferno had to play bridesmaid - but there were excuses.
Jumping from Gate 10 in that 11-horse affair, he was obliged to race wide. To add to his woes, he was carried even wider when making that left-handed turn into the home straight.
But, as stated by his rider Michael Rodd, once Inferno saw daylight, he took the bit and finished well.
The Cliff Brown-trained champ had come into that race on the back of a big win in the Saas Fee Stakes. Before placing behind Siam Warrior, he had won a trial with plenty of authority.
Now that you think of it, it was much like the trial he ran yesterday. Except that, with his regular partner Rodd plying his trade Down Under, it was Vlad Duric whose feet were in the irons.
Rodd or Duric? It made no difference to Inferno.
He ran like only he knows how. Unsighted on settling when he had just two runners following him, he was - at the 600m mark - the widest of them all and holding sixth spot in the nine-horse jump-out.
Deep into the stretch, and just when all the attention was on Countofmontecristo, Inferno began his charge.
The "Count" had collared Unconquered (Ruan Maia) and hit the front. It looked all over but Inferno was just starting to work.
At the 150m mark, Inferno had drawn alongside the leaders and, just like that, it was all over.
With what seemed like unparalleled impudence, he dropped off Countofmontecristo and Unconquered and drew away to an easy win.
The official margin was 11/4 lengths. It could easily have been three or four.
As for Inferno's time for the 1,000m, he stopped the clock at an impressive 59.56sec.
To my mind, it doesn't get any better than that.
So, sound the trumpets of acclamation. Last season's Champion Two-Year-Old has laid down a marker and the message to all is simple: "I'm coming after you."
So, what about Countofmontecristo? He was pipped into third spot by Unconquered. But don't hold it against him. There was no economy in effort and he's holding his form.
If there was another whose name must be circled in red, it was trainer Mark Walker's three-year-old I Am Sacred.
The youngster had the hard eye of a contender when winning his trial in 60.20sec.
Out in front from the get-go, he gave CK Ng a sedan-chair ride.
Indeed, had the young apprentice sneaked a look back to see what was coming at him at the 250m mark, all he would have seen would have been an eternity of daylight.
Not asked to do much over the final 100m, he eventually took the trial 21/2 lengths.
Like all horses bred in the Southern Hemisphere, I Am Sacred will turn four on Saturday. Come Sunday, it could be a "happy birthday" for this new addition to Walker's racing ranks.