Julius Caesar and Charger to rule
Top action from yesterday's Kranji trackwork Kranji trackwork
On a Sunday at Kranji just over a month ago, they liked what they saw.
Bringer Of War ticked all the boxes. So they did what they normally do - they backed her down to $8 and sent her on his way.
Then they smiled and nodded as the filly raced to a commanding lead soon after the start.
However, they soon found out it was hard to smile with mouths wide open.
And jaws did drop when, with 200m to travel, CHARGER loomed up omnimously and, in a stride, had stolen the lead.
We know the rest.
The colt had beaten the filly. The favourite in the 1st Leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe Series had been dumped by the third pick.
A fortnight later, in the 2nd Leg of the "Horseshoe", much was expected from Charger but things didn't go his way.
Indeed, you could say, everything went wrong. He was tardy out of the chute and had to race wide throughout. To compound matters, his jockey Michael Rodd explained to the Stewards that Charger was "striding out on the wrong leg throughout".
Well, that too, is racing.
Since then, however, trainer John O'Hara and his staff must have been working overtime to keep the youngster on his toes - and, they seem to have done a great job.
Because yesterday on the training track, Charger turned out to be one of the star performers, clocking 35.2sec in his hit-out over the 600m.
Sure as ever, the two-year-old looks in tip-top condition for Sunday's 3rd Leg of the Golden Horseshoe and, on the strength of yesterday's workout, it wouldn't surprise if racing fans send him off as the top pick in the $90,000 sprint.
Also on Sunday, have something on standby for JULIUS CAESAR in Race 9.
The majestic - looking three-year-old was all business on the training track when, with Vlad Duric in the saddle, he went about his work, running the 600m in 41.1sec.
Prepared for the races by James Peters, the sprightly colt didn't need a Roman fanfare to announce his coming on Apr 23. A masterful ride by Duric helped him on his way and, at the end of that 1,200m trip, he had a posse chasing him home.
Like Charger, he too has improved a ton and will come out on Sunday looking absolutely stunning.
Yes, Julius Caesar is a horse going places. Owned by China Horse Club Stable, it should have been two on the trot had he not been beaten on debut.
But there were excuses and he made up for it by winning his next start with great authority.
Right now, the colt is still a prince. With natural progression, he could soon become emperor.
And that too, is racing.
WORKOUTS BY HORSES RUNNING ON SUNDAY
RACE 1: Golden Mission H (O Chavez) 35.3. Humdinger H (A Munro) 34.3. Lim's Signature H (B Deasley) 35.2. Miss Blanchett H (V Duric) canter/36.7. Tassajara 41.5. Heavenly Hand H (D David) 37.8. Parker 34.3. Space Oddity (R Syafiq) canter/36.9. Vraad (David) 33.6.
RACE 2: Secret Squirrel H 39.9. Golden Choice H 36.1. One Kinabalu H (J Powell) 45.2. Big Regards H (Duric) 35.3.
RACE 3: Ahmar H (Syed) 35.1. Catch Me Great H 36.5. Effortless H (Powell) 37.8. Rafale (Koh) 34.8. Copacabana H (M Dodd) 37.8. Marea Negro H (David) 35.2.
RACE 4: Land Below D Wind H (Powell) 44.8. Alfonso (M Nunes) canter/37.3. Zac Benevolent 37.8. Dragon H (Beasley) 41.4. Sun Hancock (Jailani) 36.6.
RACE 5: Charger H 35.2. Mighty Phoenix (Beasley) 39.4. Ocean Hunter (CC Wong) canter/38.6. Glamour Eclipse (E Aslam) canter/44.6.
RACE 6: Joy And Happy 35.9. Perkins 37.8. Greatballs Of Fire H 40.5. Golden Jade (M Zaki) 35.3. Captain Classique 37.7.
RACE 7: Muscle Beach H (Duric) 39.6. Gold Hill 38.9. No Smoking Jeff H 36.9. Apollo H canter/37.4. Colonel Lincoln H (Kellady) 37.9. Mr Connery H (Chavez) canter/37.3.
RACE 8: Kaiser Bright (Jailani) 35.2. Probo Chandroso 35.9. Cassis Oolong (Zaki) 36.6. Good Mission 36.1.
RACE 9: Julius Caesar H (Duric) 41.1. Royal Diwan H (Z Zuriman) canter/38.3. Solitaire (Kellady) 44.2.
RACE 10: Champagne Rein H (R Zawari) 33.6. Scrat 37.5. Mikcaipho H (Beasley) 36.7.
RACE 11: Macarthur H (Duric) 38.8. Gold Crown H 36.7. Chariots Of Fire H (Duric) 37.3. Major Advancement H (G Boss) 40.7. Eclipse Splash 41.6.
WORKOUTS BY HORSES RUNNING TOMORROW
RACE 6: Cool Cat H pace work
RACE 8: Board Walk (Moon) 36.6.