Speedy Dragon blows hot at the trials
David Kok-trained New Year Cup winner is back at his best
He was the toast of the New Year.
But after that explosive run which saw him land the first feature of the season, Speedy Dragon crept back into his cave where he remained dormant - until Tuesday.
Then, at the trials on a hot and humid morning, when placed in a not-too-shabby line-up of triallists, Speedy Dragon came into his own.
CHARGE TO THE FRONT
In a show which wasn't at all reminscent of his preferred style of racing where he usually comes from behind to win, this time we saw him charge to the front, take a breather then, on straightening, put on wings to blaze a trail which left his eight rivals wondering what hit them.
So, it wasn't a scorching time. He did the 1,000m trip in a shade above a minute - 60.50sec to be exact.
But the manner in which he opened up to record that six-length victory was impressive.
Dee Dee D'or tried to make a race of it at the top of the stretch - but to no avail. Same too, Excellency. The spirit was willing, alas, the flesh was weak.
Like he did on New Year's Day, when he streaked away to land the prize by almost two-and-a-half-lengths, Speedy Dragon was just too smart.
Incidentally, that win on Jan 1 was his seventh success from just 18 starts and it helped push him into the three-figure club in the ratings.
Yes, Speedy Dragon is now a 101-rater.
However, since Jan 1, we haven't seen him face the starter in an actual race but, on the strength of that "victory" on Tuesday, that next race could be win number eight for this prolifc moneyspinner from trainer David Kok's yard.
Also at the trials on Tuesday, I thought the run by Khudawand was impressive.
However, and unlike Speedy Dragon who led from go to whoa, Khudawand did it differently.
After jumping on equal terms with the rest in the last trial of the morning, his jockey Michael Rodd opted for the scenic route.
So he hooked him back to last and stayed there as the runners coasted over the back stretch. He was in no hurry when they made that sweeping left-hander which brought them to the 600m marker.
But once they reached the home stretch, Rodd decided it was showtime.
And all it took was a flick of the reins to get Khudawand going.
Racing widest of the lot, he picked them off one by one to score by three parts of a length.
Beautiful Day and War Citi, who did most of the navigating, had to settle for second and third.
But it was all about Khudawand.
The Michael Clements-trained four-year-old has been a hit-and-miss sort of runner.
His last win was in September when he beat a Kranji Stakes D field over the mile and his last three outings have been mediocre.
Indeed, he has yet to make an appearance in the current season.
When he does and, if he can bring his trial form to the races, Khudawand could be worth a small wager.