Keep tabs on Made In China
He runs them ragged at Tuesday's trials
No one knows more about the trials than Made In Russia. He's been there eight times - one more than the total number of races he's run in.
But, don't for a moment hold it against him - or the people responsible for his well-being.
He probably needs it. After all, his performance graph since that debut win in August last year has shown a downward trek.
Anyway, Made In Russia was at the trials on Tuesday morning and even the most discerning trackwatcher would have been hard-pressed to find fault with him.
Partnered by Vlad Duric, Made In Russia was content to sit off the lead early in that 1,000m hit-out. Indeed he was fourth at the 600m mark and there he stayed when they straightened.
Sacrificed at the altar of pacemaking, Made In China soon capitulated. It was a signal for Duric to make his move and the champion jockey peeled his mount out and into daylight.
Made In Russia was in his element and he hit the front soon after, putting lengths between himself and the chasing pack.
From that midfield bunch, Sky Rocket - the mount of Ben Thompson - and Lucky Lincoln (John Powell) attempted to make a race of it, but they soon found themselves racing against each other as Made In Russia cleared away under hands and heels riding to win by five lengths.
Prepared for the races by Lee Freedman, Made In Russia went under the hammer for $225,000 and he won two races in Australia before being flown out here to continue his racing.
He soon had a busload of fans and his reputation grew when he scored a three-length win on debut. Alas, he has since had six starts and hasn't been able to duplicate that feat.
That said, he's being nursed along by one of the best in the business and it could be worth your while to keep him on your radar. That second win could come sooner rather than later.
Also on Tuesday morning, I thought Winning Hobby put up an eye-catching show when winning his trial. Lining up against horses with higher ratings than his lowly 56, he gave them something to catch.
Breaking from gate 1, he soon had them eating his dust. He had a sizeable lead heading to the 600m, marker and, with 300m to run he still had a nice three-length break on the chasing pack, led by 79-point rater Boy Wonder and Elite Incredible (69).
Keeping up a brisk gallop, Winning Hobby went to the line with a length to spare from Boy Wonder (CC Wong).
Winning Hobby has not put a hoof wrong since making that winning debut in February. He could have made it two off the reel but, in his second start, he went down by the narrowest of margins to Fame Star.
Last time out, on March 24, he had a torrid time. His rider, Ben Thompson, became unbalanced soon after the start and at the 1,000m mark, he had to re-adjust his near-side stirrup.
To compound matters, he was obliged to race wide throughout. Still, and to his credit, he managed to bank in a cheque for finishing third.
Trained by CT Kuah, Winning Hobby can be followed with some confidence the next time he goes to the races.
TUESDAY'S BARRIER TRIAL RESULTS
1 All We Know
3 Lemon Squash (CC Wong)
4 Supermax (B Woodworth)
5 Wins (Z Zuriman)
Margins and time: 1/2, hd, 21/2, 41/4 (1min 01.87sec)
1 Yulong Express (M Rodd)
2 Kadima (B Thompson)
3 Gros Piton (V Duric)
4 Evil Wesley (Y Salim)
5 Clarton Fortune (A Syahir)
6 Halime (R Zawari)
Margins and time: 1, 4, 3/4, 33/4 (1:01.33)
1 Made In Russia (V Duric)
2 Sky Rocket (Thompson)
3 Lucky Lincoln (J Powell)
4 Clarton Super (Wong)
5 Made In China (D Moor)
6 Sir Isaac ( JP Van Der Merwe)
7 Elite Excalibur (Rodd)
8 Elite Invincible (Woodworth)
Margins and time: 5, nk, 1/2, shd, nk, hd, hd (1:00.39)
1 Winning Hobby
2 Boy Wonder (Wong)
3 Elite Incredible (Rodd)
4 Siam Warrior (Thompson)
5 Diamonds (CS Chin)
6 Grand Koonta (Moor)
7 O'Reilly Bay (Powell)
8 Gold Crown
Margins and time: 1, nk, nk, nk, 83/4, 1/2 (1:00.76)
1 Yulong Fast Steed (Moor)
2 Mr Rockwell (J Azzopardi)
3 Lucky Red
4 Sacred Sea
5 Solitaire (Woodworth)
Margins and time: 21/2, 3/4, 23/4, 233/4 (1: 01.49)