Silent Force set to roar
Hugo also catches the eye on a drizzly morning at Kranji
It didn't take him long to score - three runs was all he needed to get primed up.
Victory came in the fourth. Then again, Silent Force was always being touted a talented one. He got into the good books of many after finishing a smack-up third behind Galvarino in a Class 4 sprint over 1,200m.
That was in March and his fan club was established.
A month later, when much was expected, he ran ninth. There were excuses and it was reported he returned suffering from "respiratory distress".
A fourth placing followed and, at his last outing some 10 days ago, he broke through for his maiden win.
It was a solid victory. Punching himself out of a jam which saw him in the second half of a 13-horse procession, he weaved a passage through the opposition, mowing them down with precision over the concluding stages of that 1,200m contest.
Silent Force must have liked that feeling of pounding the rest. After all, he showed up on the training track yesterday morning looking liked he could win again. Ridden by Joseph Azzopardi, he clocked a good 38.3sec.
Azzopardi was on the reins when the four-year-old won on June 9. He will probably guard that ride jealously when Silent Force takes on that Class 4 Diviison 1 field over 1,400m on Friday night's standalone meeting.
Also showing up on that drab and drizzly morning was Hugo. He had Ben Thompson up when running the 600m in 37.7sec.
Eight starts without a win, Hugo is way better than that and his winning turn couldn't be too far off. Trained by Stephen Gray, whose stable has been in great form recently, Hugo is a good horse who just needs a teensy bit of luck.
In fairness, he could have been a winner on debut. That day, some nine months ago, he and Mach were engaged in a titanic battle over the final 200m of that 1,200m sprint.
Eventually, he had to settle for second spot - half a length in arrears. The following month, he again found one to beat in Siam Vipasiri. That, after having to change course at a crucial stage of the race.
At his last start on June 9, he finished fifth - 21/2 lengths behind the very talented Vulcan.
It was only the second time in eight starts that he had finished outside the board.
What it tell us is this: Hugo is a horse waiting in the wings for that break to come. He deserves it and it will come as no great surprise to see him romp home a popular winner on Friday.