Leatherhead's on the improve
The best from yesterday's trials at Kranji
Thirteen must be his lucky number. After all, it took him all of 13 starts to find his groove. Then, in early September in the 13th race of the day, Leatherhead put it all together.
A length-and-a-half was the winning margin and some of the horses he beat included Takhi, Solo Sun and Foresto - just to name a few.
Yes, it was a comprehensive win and it came on the back of a fighting victory at the trials.
Now it seems like Groundhog Day.
You see, Leatherhead's entered for the Class 4 (1) race over 1,600m on the Polytrack on Saturday.
And, it was just yesterday at the trials that the chestnut put together a winning show, beating Afalonhro in a photo finish over the Polytrack 1,000m.
Much like it was at the trials on Aug 27, Leatherhead stalked the speed. He was in third spot in the back stretch and there he stayed until the small field swung for the run home.
Afalonhro and First Chief must have thought they had the trial neatly sewn up.
But Vlad Duric on Leatherhead had other plans.
Racing widest at the 250m mark, Duric sent Leatherhead into overdrive. Sprinting home, he swept to the front.
Afalonhro raised an effort but it was to no avail. Leatherhead was travelling too well.
Much like what it was in that other trial in August, which he won in 60.18sec, yesterday's winning margin was a head and the time for the 1,000m was 60.32sec.
Will it be back-to-back victories for the Ricardo le Grange-trained galloper?
I do not see why not?
Also at the trials, we saw Boy Next Door come away with a smart victory.
Having a 1,000m "test", he came with a sustained run to beat Everything I Need by a good 1½ lengths. Make You Famous took third.
Boy Next Door, who was ridden by Noh Senari, clocked 61.04sec for the trip.
Another son of Showcasing, Boy Next Door's last win was way back in July last year.
He has had two trials and two races since coming back after "lockdown" and none of those warranted any mention.
But there was a touch of promise in yesterday's trial. In him, trainer Tan Kah Soon might have a lively one.
The same goes for Satellite Warrior. The six-year-old took out Trial 3 with plenty of authority, racing clear from the get-go and never surrendering the lead.
It was a carbon copy of his last win on Jan 25, when taking on a Class 4 field over 1,400m, he led from pillar to post.
Ridden by Joseph See, Satellite Warrior clocked 60.02sec, the fastest time of the morning.
TRIAL 1 (ORT)
1 Golden Sprint (R Munger)
2 Beyond Compared (R Maia)
3 Jeram Gold
4 Revolver (N Zyrul)
5 Zahau (L Beuzelin)
6 Last Chance
Margins and time: Shd, 2, 1½, ¾, 3¼ (1:01.65)
1 Boy Next Door (S Noh)
2 Everything I Need (ZX Tan)
3 Make U Famous (J See)
4 Michaelearnstorock (CC Wong)
6 Elise (B Woodworth)
Margins and time: 1¼, 2, 2¾, 3¼, 1, 8¾ (1:01.04)
1 Satellite Warrior (See)
2 Vittoria Perfetta (I Saifudin)
3 Red Rover
4 On Line (V Duric)
6 Lim's Knight (CS Chin)
Margins and time: 1¾, hd, 1¼, 6¾, 8½ (1:00.02)
1 Leatherhead (Duric)
3 First Chief (Woodworth)
4 Acrobat (Beuzelin)
5 JK Flash (Saifudin)
Margins and time: Hd, 2, ¾, 4¾ (1:00.32)