‘Maiden’ race a three-way fight
Elliot Ness, Boy Xander and Con Speranza impress in morning trackwork
Put a bunch of hyper-active two and three-year-olds in a race and it's like mixing gasoline with gunpowder. There's bound to be fireworks.
Well, a race pops up on Saturday which ticks all the boxes.
It's a Restricted Maiden sprint over the 1,200m on the Polytrack and, among others, it brings together three "hot" ones in Elliot Ness, Boy Xander and Con Speranza.
All are three-year-olds who, like the rest of us in these trying times, are gunning for action. Lucky for them, there's the races.
And, in preparation for that date with the starter, all three were out on the training track yesterday morning doing what youngsters do.
Show off, that's what.
Elliot Ness worked with Class 4 stablemate Man Of Mystery, running the 600m in 36.4sec.
Although Man Of Mystery seemed to travel better throughout, the newcomer Elliot Ness showed enough to suggest a forward showing on debut.
Actually, Elliot Ness has been well schooled by trainer Mark Walker. Beginning late December, the son of Written Tycoon has been to the trials four times and all have been "above average".
He won his first hit-out over the 1,000m in 61.25sec. He then finished second to Boom Shakalaka, clocking an improved 60.80sec for the trip.
A fortnight later, Boom Shakalaka went on to claim a Class 5 race by two lengths.
Walker then sent Elliot Ness back to the trials and, in a show of strength, he won that one - beating Anpanman by 21/2 lengths.
Just for the record. Anpanman went on to win a race just last week.
As for Elliot Ness, he was back trialling and on Feb 9 he put in another good run. Ridden by Saimee Jumaat, he finished second to Friday. What it tells us is that Elliot Ness looks ready for a winning debut.
Then again, so too Boy Xander and Con Speranza.
In separate gallops, Boy Xander clocked 37sec for the 600m while Marc Lerner was the man in the saddle when Con Speranza ran out the trip in 37.5sec.
It was just last week that we picked Boy Xander as a horse to watch. That was after he won his trial in good fashion.
Ridden by Richard Lim in that trial, he stayed in the slipstream of the leaders. It was only when they straightened that he showed us his full potential - stretching out freely to beat New Garden. He was having a blinkers test - which he passed with flying colours.
Trained by Jason Lim, it was his second win from two trials.
As for Con Speranza, he would have collected some fans when he ran second to Whiz Fizz on Feb 7.
He finished two lengths behind the winner but there were excuses as he had to race wide and without cover for most of the 1,100m trip. He will appreciate the extra 100m he has to cover on Saturday.
On a different note, the Class 4 (2) sprint throws up an interesting question. Which horse will Vlad Duric partner? He worked Man Of Mystery (36.4sec) and Sure Will Do (37sec) and both look like winning chances.
If Duric rides this week - and bear in mind, he missed the last two meetings - his pick could point you in the right direction.