An ‘Oscar’ for Mr Alejandro
Mighty Vain also impresses on the training track
He had his last race in October and right now, with the new season upon us, it does seem like a long time to be out of action.
But, in the case of Mr Alejandro, it could be seen as a blessing in disguise.
After all, we know he does race well fresh. And a three-month lay-off really isn't all that long.
Well, Mr Alejandro has a date with the starter on Saturday and, in preparation for that 2020 debut, trainer Lee Freedman put his charge through a winding-up gallop on the training track yesterday morning.
How did he do? Pretty well, actually.
In the company of Made In Russia who, by the way, isn't down to race this weekend, Mr Alejandro was humming at the end of that 600m sprint which he covered in 37sec.
I reckon the gallop would have topped him up sufficiently for Saturday's assignment which is a 1,400m event on the turf.
Taking a line through his four career starts, Mr Alejandro should be truly at home over track and trip.
After all, his last run before being cotton-wooled was over the 1,400m on grass. And aside from the fact that he had to play bridesmaid for the second time in a row, he ran a pretty decent race.
Ridden by apprentice A Syahir, he broke cleanly and attempted to call the shots.
In front on settling, he had his rivals doing the chasing - and the game went on right until the final 150m when Strong N Powerful fashioned a challenge.
For a while, Mr Alejandro seemed up for a fight but he probably used up too much petrol in that run up the long course and he simply couldn't mount a comeback.
Saturday's race will be over the short course.
Perhaps, if he again chooses to lead, that fact could play to his advantage.
However, there could be one stumbling block in the form of Mighty Vain.
Trained by John O'Hara and racing in the colours of Toast Trusts & J Ho Stable, Mighty Vain was one of a handful of runners who went against the clock yesterday morning.
It was evident he was not out to break any speed records and, after a spot of cantering, he took the bit to run the final 600m in a leisurely 42.6sec.
Mighty Vain will cross swords with Mr Alejandro in Race 4 and, like the Oscar Racing Stable-owned runner, he too will come into the race on the back of a second-placed finish.
That last race was in November and his connections were supremely confident he would run a huge race that they backed him down to $10 favourtism.
Alas, when push came to shove, Mighty Vain's challenge on the frontrunner Upgraded fell short by the narrowest of margins.
On form, Mighty Vain could again start at short odds on Saturday but it will take a mighty brave punter to go against him.
Indeed, with Mr Alejandro also in rattling condition, it could make sense to couple the topweights for a fling on the "forecast".
GALLOPS BY HORSES ENGAGED AT KRANJI ON SATURDAY
Lago De Combo canter/44.2. Poroshiri (M Zaki) 40.5.
Mr Alejandro H (R Iskandar) 37. Mighty Vain 42.6. Loving Babe (J See) 39.7.
Iron Fist 40.5. Lemon Squash 40.5.
Arc Triumph H 37.