Young guns make big noise
Irving Lipschitz and My Dreamliner serve notice for the future
Maiden races, which bring together precocious youngsters - all highly strung and gung-ho for glory - normally produce good theatre.
And on Sunday at Kranji, the two "Maiden" races lived up to expectations.
In the process, they introduced us to two handsome horses who, with natural progression, should enhance their reputations in the season to come.
Of the two - My Dreamliner and Irving Lipschitz - there was a touch of class surrounding the victory of Irving Lipschitz.
Trained by the great man himself, Lee Freedman, the three-year-old put in a dominant show when winning by almost three lengths.
Ridden by Craig Grylls - who was probably having his last ride on the horse as he returns to New Zealand after Sunday, Irving Lipschitz truly toyed with his rivals.
Taking the lead soon after the start in the 1,600m race, he was always going too well for the rest. Ordos Legend tried to make a race of it but the $9 favourite wasn't going to be denied his day in the sun.
Indeed, what appeared to resemble a challenge soon fizzled out at the business end of things when Irving Lipschitz turned on the style to go away from the rest.
Freedman didn't seem overly enthused. He must have known what his horse could do and he got what he expected from the youngster.
"He's a promising horse," he said in the post-race interview. "The step-up from 1,200m to the mile wasn't an issue. With that first run under his belt, we expected a good run."
Grylls was similarly pleased but not over-enthusiastic. "He got away good and quickly put himself into the race. He got some pressure from Ordos Legend but he toughed it out."
Irving Lipschitz has now won once and placed second once from two starts. Expect better things in 2019.
Earlier in the afternoon, My Dreamliner won on debut and, like Irving Lipschitz, he did it from the front.
Jumping from the outer-most gate in the 1,000m sprint, the KY Young-trained three-year-old quickly found the rails and, with CS Chin riding confidently, he never surrendered the lead.
The race favourite, Federation, put in an effort but it was never going to be enough. My Dreamliner would eventually prevail by 21/2 lengths.
Chin, a 33-year-old Malaysian, said: "He gave me a good feel. He's got a good future and when he matures he should go on to win longer races."
A bargain buy at $8,000 as a weanling, My Dreamliner has already started paying for his keep. Expect that bank balance to grow in the new season.