Siam Royal Orchid in full bloom
Gratus also impresses at Tuesday's trials
When Siam Royal Orchid steps out in a race, be sure you're in his corner.
Right now, and from what we've seen of him at the trials, he's about to be in full bloom.
Not for the first time, the three-year-old demonstrated all the traits of a debut winner.
Ridden by Glen Boss in his latest hit-out on Tuesday morning, Siam Royal Orchid put on a forward show over the 1,000m, holding second after the jump and then hitting the front when the field straightened for the run home.
Eyeballed by Runfinnrun and pursued by St Alwyn, Siam Royal Orchid showed spirit when holding off the challenges and eventually extending his lead to beat St Alwyn by 1/2 a length. He clocked a not-too-shabby time of 61.22sec.
Owned by Pupetch Racing Stable, Siam Royal Orchid has been allowed plenty of time to settle in and he had his first trial in early January.
Nothing much came out of it and, with Boss on the reins, he strode home fifth of eight, the winner being The Iceman who clocked 61.74sec for the trip.
We saw him back at the trials two weeks ago and the transformation was startling.
Claiming the lead on clearing the chute, he kept up a good tempo to make every post a winning one.
Lim's Travel tried to make a race of it but Siam Royal Orchid would have nothing of the sort and the challenge was quickly snuffed out.
He would eventually win by almost 21/2 lengths- easing up.
Siam Royal Orchid's cause is further strengthened by the fact that he is coming from a winning barn. Trainer Michael Clements was the man of the moment over the last weekend, saddling the last two winners on Friday night and following it up with another double on Sunday.
Among his winners on Sunday was a relative newcomer Vittoria Perfetta, who was having just his second start at Kranji.
Also impressive at the trials was Gratus.
From KY Young's yard, the four-year-old certainly made onlookers sit up and take notice when he came with a barnstorming run over the closing stages of the 1,000m sprint to claim the prize. He clocked 61.20sec for the journey and the winning margin was just a neck.
But forget all that. Just remember the way he powered home.
Until jockey Troy See urged him into action, Friendship was being shouted the winner.
Friendship had, at the 150m mark, rushed to the front and in the blink of an eye, it did seem like "game over".
See drove Gratus to the extreme outside and asked him to go. The son of Rip Van Winkle was, by then, wide awake and he simply powered home to get the verdict.
Gratus was one of the fancied runners in last Sunday's $50,000 Class 4 race over the 1,700m but, when they were behind the gates, See informed the starter he wasn't feeling well and Gratus was taken out of the race. See was stood down for the rest of the afternoon.
The good news is, both horse and rider were in fine fettle on Tuesday morning and that "form" should show the next time Gratus goes to the races.