Mokastar shines brightly at the trials
Trainer Ricardo Le Grange's ultra-consistent charge the one to watch on his Kranji barrier trial victory
The ultra-consistent Mokastar showed the benefit of a short break by taking the second of seven trials staged at Kranji yesterday and clocked the fastest time of the morning.
Rested after his last-start victory on Nov 24, the Ricardo Le Grange-trained Australian-bred was under siege in the closing stages when two horses charged up but he gave a kick when shaken up by his rider, Nooresh Juglall.
That was a nice thing to see - a horse responding when called upon.
The bay gelding hounded and covered Elite General from the get-go and pulled clear at the top of the straight.
Hermano Menor, who was tracking behind the leading pair, and White Chin, who travelled in midfield on the fence but was angled out for a clear run on straightening, went after Mokastar.
White Chin pulled alongside Mokastar with 100m left to run and looked poised for victory but found no answer when Mokastar produced a nice kick after being given a few pushes by Juglall to win by a neck.
He clocked 1min 00.96sec for the 1,000m on the Polytrack, the only winner to crack 61sec yesterday morning.
Hermano Menor squeezed through the pair for third, a head away.
All three horses trialled very well and must be kept in view for their next assignments.
Mokastar has finished out of the first three only once from nine starts.
He has chalked up two wins, four seconds and two thirds, establishing his consistency.
White Chin was backed down as the $12 favourite in his debut on Nov 24 but faded away to finish 11 after being well up.
The James Peters-trained Irish-bred has improved by leaps and bounds and is capable of making amends.
Hermano Menor, a five-time winner, is back in form after a lapse.
He should also perform well in his next race.