Jupiter is still as good as Gold
David Kok's Real Efecto shows signs of an early win
It has been so often said. But it is always worth repeating.
In this game, class tells.
Indeed, more than anything else, the cream always rises to the top.
If we needed confirmation, we saw it at the trials on Tuesday morning, when Jupiter Gold took the third of four.
Now here is a horse who, while getting long in the tooth, still thinks he is a frisky juvenile.
H e has cashed in more than a million dollars - but still wants more. But, to visit the bank again, he must first reinvent his career.
After all, Jupiter Gold has been off the racetrack for something, like 20 months. But this is the thing. He still knows what the game is all about.
He still has that instinctive ability to size up a field while plotting a run through it. Like he did at the trials.
It was his second hit-out since March last year, when he finished down the course in a Class 1 race won by Debt Collector. Yes. Debt Collector. That is how long ago.
Anyway, drawn the widest in that field of nine, he had CC Wong in the plate and, most definitely, his trainer Hideyuki Takaoka watching from the stands.
Off they went and Wong quickly snagged him back to eighth spot, as Silkino and Afalonhro went hell for leather up front.
Four hundred metres to travel and he was widest of the lot. There was still no urgency. It sure seemed like Jupiter Gold had lost some of his early speed.
After all, when winning his races - and the Emirates Singapore Derby of 2018 springs to mind - he is always well-placed just off midfield.
Anyway, with a furlong to go, Wong clicked him into overdrive and Jupiter Gold was off and gone.
He eventually took the trial by 1¼ lengths in a very smart 59.86sec.
Some may say he beat horses 30 rating points below him.
Yes. But those like Silkino (second) and Afalonhro (third) are no slouches.
Afalonhro, in particular, was a smart winner in August.
On that win at the trials, Jupiter Gold is on the right track for a comeback.
We are certain Takaoka will pick a suitable race for that return to racing.
Also at the trials, a one-time starter named Real Efecto showed promise of an early trot into the winner's enclosure.
Ridden by Ruan Maia, he showed some style when taking the first trial of the morning.
Jumping from six in that field of seven, he took control of things at the 600m mark and was never headed.
Although Spearhead tried to make a race of it, Real Efecto was never in any danger of being caught.
He won with half a length to spare. His time of 60.69sec was not too shabby.
Trained and owned by David Kok, Real Efecto has had a good preparation - racing in five trials for three wins, a second and a third.
His only race-start produced a fourth-placed finish. He can only get better.