Nova Swiss eyes No. 5
The Open Benchmark 97 sprint, slated as Race 5 on Sunday, is going to be something to savour.
Indeed, it should be as exciting as a horse race could get and the star of that show will have to be NOVA SWISS.
Back on his game after a short two-month break, he made his presence felt on the training track yesterday when dashing over the 600m in 36.4sec. Manoel Nunes, as expected, had the seat on the chestnut.
It was in late November that Nova Swiss capped a tantalising season with his fourth win on the trot.
That last one was sheer class. Taking the box seat, as is usually the case, he gave the others some hope until the 300m mark when he decided it was "game over".
As the crowd erupted like it was a rock concert they were watching, the $6 favourite cleared away to win easily.
The official margin was 3.8 lengths. To the chasing pack, it must have felt like an eternity.
In the wink of an eye, Nova Swiss had put together four in a row and, if you're into numbers, he won those four races by a total of 14.6 lengths.
That last one was an Open Benchmark 83 affair. Come Sunday, it will be his first tilt at an OB97 race.
That's a playground for the big boys. Will Nova Swiss fit in? Will the five-year-olds allow the impetuous three-year-old free run of their treehouse?
Well, they had better. Because this whiz kid is capable of inflicting some serious damage to their egos.
So stick around for the $100,000 race. There may not be much in return for your $5 win investment. But, sure as ever, Nova Swiss will send you home with a smile as wide as his winning margin.
When you're there at Kranji, keep an eye on another youngster. He's just four years old and he looks to be going places.
His name's MONTAIGNE and he's to contest Race 10.
Like Nova Swiss, he impressed in his hit-out yesterday. Ridden by John Powell, they had stablemate EFFORTLESS (Race 11, Sunday) for company when they reeled off the 600m in 37.7secs. Matt Kellady was astride Effortless.
Plenty was expected of Montaigne on debut a fortnight ago and racegoers packed him off as the $12 top pick.
The four-year-old had every chance of delivering on that confidence until he was checked close home. It knocked him off stride and with it went a winning debut. Still, the effort impressed.
So, stick with him. His trainer Shane Baertschiger will surely send him out looking as hard as a brick and I expect him to deliver on the promise of an early win.