Made In Russia ready to resume
Leticia Dragon's Beer Garden and Super Six also impress at the trials
Made In Russia is better than the form figures preceding his name. After showing so much promise when winning on debut, he seems to have gone flat.
Six runs. No wins. Just a second to show.
That's not quite what we would expect from a horse who won twice on city tracks in Australia before being flown out here to continue his racing.
It's not the way a $225,000 purchase should be running. But, that's how the numbers read. 4-4-2-0-5-8.
That said, there's still plenty of good racing and a few more wins in that frame of his that we haven't seen.
From Lee Freedman's yard, Made In Russia was in his element at the trials on Tuesday morning and, if anything, it served to remind us that he's better than the average galloper.
Having a 1,000m barrier test, Made In Russia needed the help of a barrier blanket to calm his nerves. But once the gates opened and his rider Joseph Azzopardi said "go", he was the racehorse we know he could be.
Not interested in taking the lead, he allowed Tin's Machine and Buddy Buddy to set the pace. He stayed third, just in front of his stablemate Mr Coppola.
Into the stretch and Made In Russia had enough of the waiting game. He made it a line of three at the 250m mark and, still on a sort of hold, he went to the line a head in front of Buddy Buddy, who had by then dropped off Tin's Machine.
He was hardly blowing when Azzopardi eased him down and, that's always indicative of a horse in good order.
Last time out, he returned as a roarer and Freedman has since kept him under wraps. That was more than three months ago and Tuesday's trial would have told his connections if the problem was now behind him.
Also impressive at the trials were Beer Garden and Super Six.
Prepared for the races by Leticia Dragon, both won with some authority. Beer Garden, formerly with John O'Hara, took the opening trial by the scruff of the neck.
Ridden by TR Barnabas, he led on settling and, although headed by Dee Dee Mak in the closing stages, he showed fighting qualities to regain the lead before winning by three parts of a length. He clocked a good time of 60.33sec for the 1,000m.
Just a two-year-old, Beer Garden has yet to show up in a race. On that trial win, it will be interesting to see how he fares on debut.
In Super Six, Dragon's got a reliable one in her barn. He was all zip in his trial, charging home from third at the 200m mark to beat the talented Nova Vocal by half a length. He clocked 61.21sec for the trip.
The endearing thing about Super Six is he doesn't seem to know that he's getting long in the tooth. Mind you, he's already an eight-year-old but his last seven runs have produced outstanding results.
What's not to like about two wins, three seconds and two thirds? So, hat's off to Leticia.
It was a week ago that she celebrated her birthday. There could be a belated present waiting for her the next time Super Six goes to the races.