Top run by Gran Torino

Kranji barrier trials

Although his winning time was not faster than Elusive Emperor's in an earlier trial, Gran Torino was more impressive in the way he won at Kranji yesterday.

While Elusive Emperor had to be scrubbed hard to beat Satellite Man by a head in 59.71sec for the Polytrack 1,000m, Gran Torino could have cracked below one minute as well had his rider been more serious.

His regular jockey, Frenchman Olivier Placais, got his mount out in a flash to share the lead with Chocolat. Placais was happy to sit handily behind smoking the pipe when jockey John Powell allowed Chocolat to streak to a two-length lead.

In the final 300m, Placais was undecided to go to the inside or outside. But, with 200m to go, he angled out and, once Gran Torino saw daylight, he bounced away to win by one-and-a-half lengths in 1min 00.20sec.

Gran Torino has shown plenty of promise, winning his debut on Aug 20, beating Dutrow, who went on to win his next start and is my best bet on Sunday.

Gran Torino followed up with a nice second to Sun Dream in another Polytrack 1,100m event on Sept 17.

On yesterday's trial win, the James Peters-trained four-year-old should be hard to beat in his next assignment. Follow him.