Mokastar on target for a hat-trick
Kranji newcomer, Ol Mate Buzzer, looks good for a winning debut
Gunning for a hat-trick after two impressive wins, Mokastar showed at the trials on Tuesday that a third win off the reel isn't such far-fetched an idea.
Taken out by Nooresh Juglall for that 1,000m trial, Mokastar was all zip over the concluding stages.
Not the fastest out of the gates, he nevertheless was quickly into the swing of things and by the time the eight runners began to make that sweeping turn on the far side of the Polytrack, Juglall had him parked in fourth spot.
All the while, Mystic Master, the mount of CW Chan, was going great guns up front with Black Quail and Star Genius closest to him but finding it hard to match the tempo.
Indeed, it was still Mystic Master at the 250m mark. But it was then that Juglall began to work on the three-year-old.
Like the good horse that he is, Mokastar responded and, at the 100m mark, it was all over. Mokastar had put the issue to bed and he cantered in to score by a neck from Star Genius with Mystic Master having to settle for third, some four-and-a-half lengths in arrears.
Mokastar, who is prepared by Ricardo Le Grange for Tmen Stable, was one of the finds of the 2017 season. However, after finishing second behind Yaya Papaya on debut in May and beaten out of sight by Mr Hanks the following month, he opened his Kranji account on his fifth try.
That was in a Restricted race over the flying 1,000m in August.
Out in a flash, he made every post a winning one and when the finish showed up, he had almost four lengths to spare from second-placed Shamrock.
He looked good for a double dose when he faced the starter later that month. But, unable to lead after beginning awkwardly, he encoutered traffic en route and could only managed a third behind Super Ball.
However, that second win would come three months later in November. In between, he squeezed a third and a second-placed finish.
Like a good horse, he opened his 2018 campaign on a winning note to make it two on the trot and will now be looking to make it a fourth win - and a three-in-a-row - at his next start.
Can he get that hat-trick of wins? Well, his showing at the trials told us one thing - Mokastar's up to the task.
In an earlier "test", trainer KY Young gave us a sneak preview of what his "newcomer" Ol Mate Buzzer could do.
Having his second trial since being flown out here - he finished third of four runners in mid-January - the four-year-old showed maturity under the reinsmanship of Harry Kasim.
Having a blinkers/pacifiers test, the youngster held second spot for most of the trip. He took control when they swung for home and cleared away to win by five lengths.
His time of 61.64sec for the distance was an improvement on the 62.91sec he clocked in his first trial. Back in Australia, he won a trial by seven lengths.
All of that tells us one thing. Ol Mate Buzzer has been well-educated from his Kranji debut. So pencil that name into your little black book and keep the faith when he does have that first race start.