Sacred Croix eyes Stewards' Cup
Tigress also impresses on the training track
Like in a schoolyard brawl where the big boys gang up to intimidate the weak, Sacred Croix didn't blink. If anything, he stood up to them.
He, a mere 74-point rater. Some of the others in their 100s or high 80s.
It didn't matter. He jumped with the best in the Silver Bowl and, although he didn't win, he gave an excellent account of himself.
His trainer, Mark Walker, would have been proud. His owners, Raffles Racing, sanguine.
Come Sunday, Sacred Croix will again line up with the cream of the crop in the Stewards' Cup (Race 9) and, like we have become accustomed to seeing, he will run a decent, honest race.
In preparation for that assignment and to plug any holes, Walker sent Sacred Croix to the training track yesterday morning and the four-year-old did well to run the 600m in a sizzling 34.6sec. Apprentice jockey Zawari Razali was on the reins.
Sacred Croix, who began racing in earnest just this year, is on the cusp of a really exciting career and now on 80 rating points, he certainly belongs in the Stewards' Cup line-up.
Until that second-place finish in the Silver Bowl when he came from just off the pace to finish a length behind the winner What's New, Sacred Croix never did a thing wrong.
Four times, beginning in February, Walker sent him to the races and four times he ran his opponents to the ground, all the while charging home like an honest brawler.
The Silver Bowl was over the 1,400m. I reckon Sacred Croix is more of a miler and Sunday's trip will suit him to a tee.
Also on Sunday, you might want to keep tabs on Tigress in Race 5. The filly looked like she was good to go in her romp on the training track.
Ridden by apprentice R Iskandar, she was clocked at 37.4sec for the 600m.
Owned by the King Power Stable, Tigress seemed to take her time before deciding to show us what she could do.
Making her debut in August last year, she went to the races seven times and all she had to show was two fourth-place finishes.
Needless to say, she tumbled down in the ratings.
Then, on her eighth start, the ferocious feline in her in her showed up.
In an Open Maiden contest run over the mile, Tigress mauled her rivals, winning by almost 11/2 lengths after hitting the front just after they straightened for the run home.
Then, in her last start, she went down narrowly to Big Regards in a race run over the 2,000m.
That was in Class 5 and, on Sunday, she will line up in Class 4 company. Will she be able to cope with the "promotion"?
Well, she receives weight from almost all of them and, with just 50kg on her back and over the gruelling 2,000m, she will be feeling good when the others begin to feel burdened.
It could make all the difference.