Olympic Anthem goes wide but still on song
It wasn't the swiftest of gallops but, when you take in the circumstances of the trial, you'd agree that OLYMPIC ANTHEM put up a real decent show at Kranji on Tuesday morning.
For one thing, while the others ran 1,000m, Olympic Anthem would have covered something like 1,030m.
That's because he ran wide for most of the trip and it was a wonder he managed to win.
Well, that he did, in a time of 63.72sec.
Back to the trial. Olympic Anthem was having a starting stall test and he looked to be giving jockey Oscar Chavez a rough time when they jumped.
Indeed, even Chavez, being the astute horseman that he is, couldn't reel him in and, after covering 250m, Olympic Anthem decided he wanted to take the scenic route.
As he negotiated that first sweeping turn which brought them to the top of the stretch, Olympic Anthem was at last six horses wide and that was how they turned for the run home.
However, there was plenty of petrol in the tank and, when he finally put his mind to the job - which was 250m from home - we saw him collar the leaders, DINGHU MOUNTAIN and OCEAN GENERAL.
Like a hot knife through butter, Olympic Anthem left them trailing as he ran away to a one- length win.
Another one from the China Horse Club Stable, Olympic Anthem has been a prolific money spinner, winning six races and being placed second three times.
Small wonder, he is now just about $120,000 shy of the half-million dollar mark.
Trained by James Peters, the six-year-old has had just one start this season. That was about three weeks ago and he was never a factor, finishing down the course in that race won by Good News.
With the benefit of that outing and with that run on Tuesday, Olympic Anthem looks a strong contender for Monday's top race - the Kranji Stakes A sprint over the 1,100m.
Coincidentally, in that race, he will come up against THE GENERAL who was also a good winner at the trials.
Ridden by Noresh Juglall, The General led from go to whoa.
However, unlike the wayward Olympic Anthem, he went straight as an arrow to beat his stablemate BLUE DANUBE by a head in a smart time of 60.41sec.
SUPER WINNER, who was always handy, stayed on for third, half a length away.
The General has not won since notching up his sixth success on the last day of last season. He has, however, been running into some kind of form, finishing third in his last two starts.
With just 53.5kg to carry, he can be bracketed into the trifecta with Olympic Anthem and Super Winner.