Mr Crowe has eyes on a hat-trick
The Laurie Laxon pair of MR CROWE and WAIPAKIHI lit up an overcast and hazy morning at Kranji with a stylish gallop in preparation for their separate assignments on Friday night.
Starting off at a steady canter, the pair gradually picked up the tempo to run the final 600m in 37.6sec.
Mr Crowe, who had Vlad Duric in the saddle, looked to be going slightly better than his stablemate.
Gunning for a hat-trick of wins after putting together that race-to-race double on Jan 29 and Feb 19, the son of Alamosa does look the goods in Friday's Class 4 Division 2 sprint over the 1,400m on the Long Course.
Obviously his pet distance, after winning three times over that trip - the other occasion being that victory last April - Mr Crowe's style of coming just off the pace to charge home over the concluding stages should again be decisive.
Waipakihi, ridden by John Powell in that hit-out with Mr Crowe, is another Laxon runner in sterling form. Discard that fifth-place showing on debut in February last year and you'll notice that the son of Pins has never been off the board in all of his subsequent starts.
Two of those 11 runs have been winning ones and his last five outings read 1-2-4-4-4.
A four-year-old who likes to race near the front, he should enjoy the 1,200m on the Polytrack and don't be surprised to see him hit the front close home.
As for the races on Sunday, the Open Benchmark 97 sprint over the flying 1,100m is shaping up to be a super race.
We reckon you should pay special attention to the Ricardo Le Grange pair of THE NUTCRACKER and THE GENERAL.
The talented duo had clockers at trackside all excited when they zipped over the 600m in a swift 34.3sec.
Nooresh Juglall was astride The Nutcracker while Barend Vorster did the navigation on The General. There was little to separate the two at the finish and both looked good.
The Nutcracker hasn't raced since June last year but he has had a chockful of trials and all have been impressive.
His latest jump-out was last Thursday and it was a cracker of a trial. Nine runners were involved and eight of them clocked sub-60sec for the 1,000m.
The Nutcracker won that one, beating multiple winner Wonderful by half a length in a time of 59.32sec. The five-year-old grey won on debut which does suggest he races well fresh.
As for The General, he last won on Dec 4, hitting the front close home after stalking the speed for most of the 1,100m trip.
With talents like Wonderful, Sebas and last-start winner Sun Pioneer set to jump and run in the same contest, the race should be something to savour.