Surpass Natural eyes fourth win
The best from yesterday's Kranji trackwork
When a horse is unbeaten after three starts, he sets people talking.
Whether or not they've made a buck on him, they're somehow drawn to follow his progress. They want to see him run - and, hopefully - win more races.
It's like Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. Like them or not, we want to see them play.
So, just how good is Surpass Natural?
He's won three from three and he will be the popular pick in Sunday's Class 3 sprint over 1,200m.
Hats off to trainer Leticia Dragon, who has astutely charted his journey from raw recruit to three-star general.
And yesterday, Dragon continued to map his progress by sending him out for what was a fine gallop on the training track.
Ridden by that very competent horseman, John Sundradas, Surpass Natural was not extended when running the 600m in 39.9sec.
It was a good piece of work and Dragon would have been pleased.
After all, she would have had to work hard to get him to where he is now.
Surpass Natural wasn't a flashy type when he arrived at her yard. His parents - Elvstroem and Lominata - weren't superstars.
But, sometimes, the best piece of sculpture doesn't have to come from the finest marble.
So, Dragon sent him to the trials. He won that first one in mid-May and, a fortnight later, she felt he was ready for his racing debut.
Off he went and punters backed him down to $23. It wasn't the cleanest of races but he won it by a length.
Six weeks later, and in open company on turf, he had his second start.
That time, they backed him down to $12 and, although jumping from Gate 9 in that 14-horse field and obliged to race wide, he still came home a winner.
Last time out, on Aug 2, he toyed with them, winning by almost 11/2 lengths after taking the lead from the get-go. It was three from three.
Now comes the real test.
On 72 rating points, he will - for the first time - take on Class 3 rivals over 1,200m on the Polytrack.
Victory will pad up his bank balance to over $100,000.
Is he ready to get that fourth win in a row? I don't see why not. It was not so long ago that Dragon worked her magic on a horse named Nimble and he went on to win five in a row.
It will be good to see Surpass Natural get his fourth strike.
Also on the training track yesterday morning, we saw Sun Formation turn in an eye-catching workout.
With Vlad Duric on the reins, he ran the 600m in 36.3sec. He had stablemate Sun Dream for company.
From trainer Desmond Koh's yard, the four-year-old was a stylish winner in his second Kranji start and, at his last outing, he found Ocean Crossing a tad too good and had to settle for second spot.
Sun Formation will keep on improving and the step up to the mile could be just what he needs to get back to winning ways.