Lake Huka looks ready to rock
His last win was about eight months ago. But no one can say LAKE HUKA is a slouch.
In that space of time, from June 24 until today, the Laurie Laxon-trained runner has raced eight times and, on top of that, we've seen him at the trials on another six occasions - including the one on Tuesday.
Okay, his last few runs haven't been glowing. Indeed, a spot in midfield seems to be his finish of choice.
He was seventh of 14, eighth of 14 and fifth of 12 in his last three races - and all came after mid-morning outings at the trials.
That said, none of those were winning trials. Not like the one on Tuesday which he won by half a length - but in a time I wouldn't dwell on.
If you must know, he ran the 1,000m in 63.94sec. Enough said.
But if you forget the time, there was plenty to like about his performance. Clearing the chute cleanly from stall one, jockey Alan Munro snagged him back and he made that first turn in fourth spot - some lengths behind leaders Satellite Power and Bigdinero.
He was still hugging the rails and some distance behind the leading duo when they straightened for the run home. But anyone could see there was still plenty of petrol in the tank.
With 200m to travel, Satellite Power put four lengths between himself and the rest and looked home and hosed.
But Lake Huka was just beginning his work. A rustle of the reins by Munro woke him up and like a good horse he charged home on a short rein with Munro crouched low in the saddle.
In a racing career which has seen him race 23 times, Lake Huka has scored thrice. Sure, he has been off the boil in recent times but his work has been good and his ratings have been tumbling down from a high of 60 in June last year to 50 points going into Sunday's contest.
If anything, a fourth win seems long overdue. Come the weekend, watch him in the parade ring.
Laxon will surely turn him out looking hard as a brick. That being the case, have a wager on him and hope he reproduces that finishing spurt we saw on Tuesday.
BARRIER TRIAL RESULTS
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Southern Man (D David)
2 El Condor (B Woodworth)
3 Alejandro (M Nunes)
4 Without Prejudice
5 Nova Classic (O Placais)
Margins and time: 4, 5½, shd, 4 (1min 01.96sec)
1 Walking Thunder (D Beasley)
2 Stay With Me (David)
3 Pint Sized Prince
4 Royal Fortune (I Saifudin)
5 Clarton Super (I Azhar)
6 Silver Spoon (T See)
Margins and time: 1¼, 5, 2½, 1¼, 9½ (1:02.13)
1 Could Be Pearls (M Rodd)
2 Alasamo (Saifudin)
3 Fighting Warrior (Woodworth)
4 Famous Artist (CC Wong)
5 High Street (G Boss)
Margins and time: ½, ¾, ½, 1¾ (1:04.89)
1 Lake Huka (A Munro)
2 Eastern Victory (Woodworth)
3 Satellite Power (T See)
4 Succession (Nunes)
5 Bigdinero (Saifudin)
6 Xzuberance (K A'Isisuhairi)
Margins and time: ½, hd, 1¼, shd, 1¾ (1:03.94)
1 Nova Star (T See)
2 Nation Theatre (Y Salim)
3 Deadline Day (Placais)
4 Top Note (TH Koh)
5 Happy Joy (I Amirul)
6 Lim's Pershing (Beasley)
7 Handsome Bab (Saifudin)
Margins and time: 1½, 2½, 2½, ½, 6, ¼, 5½ (1:02.84)