Keep an eye on Tom Cat, Tobruk
Freedman's pair impress on the training track
Two youngsters from trainer Lee Freedman's yard caught the eye on the training track at Kranji yesterday morning.
The two "Ts" - Tom Cat and Tobruk - are among the eight entries from the celebrated Australian trainer's yard and, on current form, they can be trusted to run well on Saturday.
Tobruk had apprentice Iskandar Rosman doing the steering in a 600m gallop in 37.4sec.
Jockey A'Isisuhairi Kasim took out Tom Cat for his 600m spin in 36.5sec.
They say that Class 5 horses rarely score back-to-back wins.
Well, Tobruk could prove to be an exception.
His win in late September, which was also his first in 10 starts, was rather impressive.
Drawn wide in a 12-horse affair, he had to be restrained in the early stages. However, the race being over the mile, Iskandar was given every opportunity to get Tobruk settled.
That did the trick. The four-year-old was full of running over the concluding stages to win the race by half a length.
It must have been ample consolation for his connections, who would have agonised when watching Tobruk finish second in both his previous starts.
Those were in Open Maiden company and, both times, Tobruk was soundly beaten.
He came out of the lockdown to run second to King's Command over 1,400m on Aug 8. That, after missing the start.
Three weeks later, he again had to play the bridesmaid, failing to catch Hwasong by a length over the mile. Both times, Ryan Munger was in the saddle.
Tobruk goes over the longer 1,700m on Saturday. It is his first attempt over the trip but it it should suit his running style.
As for Tom Cat, Freedman has picked a Class 4 (2) sprint race over the flying 1,000m.
It should suit, given that Tom Cat's solitary victory in six outings was an all-the-way win over 1,100m. That was in September last year.
It does seem like ages ago, but since the resumption of racing in July, Tom Cat has run races indicating he is closing in on a win.
He was particularly impressive when second to Thomas De Lago over 1,000m on Aug 8.
That day, when ridden by Simon Kok and jumping from Gate 2, he was tucked in behind the pace and momentarily hit the front 200m from home.But he had no answer to Thomas De Lago's powerful finish.
Then, in his last start last month, he came from last on straightening to collect some minor money for his connections. That was for finishing fourth behind I Am Sacred.
Tom Cat is a work in progress. He has got plenty of quality in that small frame of his.
Indeed, I would say he can only get better.
Come Saturday, Freedman does seem to have picked a winnable race for his flashy chestnut.