The Oscar goes to Mr Rockwell
He and stablemate Mr Dujardin impress at the trials
His was the slowest winning time at the trials on Tuesday morning. But his connections would not have been looking too harshly at the numbers.
A win's a win. And the Oscar Racing Stable would have liked what they saw of Mr Rockwell.
He finished tops in the third of four trials that morning and, if you must know, he ran the 1,000m in 62.26sec.
Hardly something to shout from the rooftops, but enough to suggest that Mr Rockwell's stock is steadily climbing again.
He looked the goods in the third quarter of last season when he pulled off a second, third and fourth in quick succession. Then came that fall from grace and the form figures for his next four runs read 7-7-6-5.
Mr Rockwell is now at 39 rating points and in Class 5, and he's been winless for 17 months.
Other owners might have thrown in the towel. Not so, the Oscar outfit and they may yet reap in the rewards of playing the long game.
On Tuesday, Mr Rockwell had Alysha Collett in the saddle and she would have liked the way her mount came through the sprint. Racing tight and trading places for the lead, she was passed close home by John Powell on Be Bee and AB Riduan on Fire Dragon.
But it wasn't over and, in the shades of the winning post, Collett got Mr Rockwell going again and he rustled up enough to beat 85-pointer Be Bee by a short head. Fire Dragon claimed third, a neck away.
At 39 rating points, there's nowhere to go but up. Remember also that it was around this time last year that Mr Rockwell was running his best races.
He could be worth a punt the next time he faces the starter. Another one of Oscar Racing Stable's horses also impressed at the trials.
Mr Dujardin was collared late by Sir Isaac but, sure as ever, he wasn't clobbered. Instead, and if anything, he showed that he was running into another rich vein of form and it could pay to have his name pencilled into that notebook of yours.
Ridden by Powell and content to stay in the slipstream of River Ruby for most of the journey, Mr Dujardin was never asked to do more than was necessary.
He was still on a hard hold 150m out and he didn't put up much resistance when passed by Sir Isaac.
But his momentum kept him at Sir Isaac's withers and that's the way it ended. Only a half length separated the pair at the post.
Winless since November last year, he's in good enough condition to again end the season in a flourish.
We have seen runaway winners. You know, the ones who streak away to win by lengths. Well, there was one like that at the trials. And, like Mr Rockwell and Mr Dujardin, he too came from Lee Freedman's barn.
Remember the name Healthy Star. Running in the first trial, the three-year-old looked like one of those wonder kids zooming down the highway of life.
Out of the gates like a bat from hell, he quickly put lengths between himself and the rest. Indeed, at the 600m mark, he was already so far ahead that the trial became an exhibition.
As for Powell, in that crouched position, buttocks in the air, it was a magic carpet ride. Healthy Star would win by 12 lengths. Enough said.