So Perfect still young at heart
Mohd Yusof's old campaigner lights up the trials
He's like one of those endearing "seniors" who don't like being called "uncle". So, if you can help it, refrain from telling SO PERFECT that he's getting long in the tooth.
Line him up against others half his age in a race or a trial and suddenly, the nine-year-old thinks he's a sprightly youngster.
Like on Tuesday. He was "old grumps" behind the gates. Stubborn as ever, it took some coaxing to get him into his chute.
But that was just the old guy trying to be difficult. Because once the gates opened he was on the back of the leader Alamak Boy - who was six years his junior.
Heading to the 600m and So Perfect, ridden by Michael Rodd, was still a length and a half in arrears of the frontrunner but he was running on a full tank.
He was still second when they straightened but with 250m to travel, the chestnut was dictating things and enjoying himself. Indeed, if he could speak I'm sure he would have said "gotcha" as he sailed pass Alamak Boy while putting distance between himself and the rest, headed by Black Swan.
He would win the trial by a length and in a time of 61.88sec.
It wasn't the fastest 1,000m we saw on Tuesday. That honour belonged to Robin Hood in Trial 4, but it sure as ever was a sentimental victory.
Indeed, I reckon So Perfect can still go many rounds with the best in Class 5 and I have this sneaky feeling he has somehow found his second wind. Look at his last four starts. A win and two second-placed finishes. Not bad for an old fella.
He seems to race well after a visit to the trials and, the next time he goes to the races, we just might see a grand show from this Mohd Yusof-trained campaigner.
Back to the "fastest" of the morning and hats off to ROBIN HOOD. He had a rousing hit-out and when he was done he had put six-and-a-quarter lengths between himself and Gold Cup winner Bahana.
Ridden by Olivier Placais, the five-year-old from Alwin Tan's yard jumped well and settled into second spot as Sun Mirage streaked to the front.
There he stayed until they were 250m from home. In one swift move, Robin Hood hit the front and drew away. Bahana, though not out to do anything spectacular, was content to sail in second, three parts of a length in front of Friendship.
But it was all Robin Hood, who was hand-timed at 60.00sec for the 1,000m scurry.
With five wins and over $200,000 to show from 18 starts, he is hardly the finished product and it could pay to mark him down as a horse to follow.