Beaten, but it's still Superlative
Newcomer Mighty General ready for Kranji debut
Keep an eye on Superlative the next time he goes to the races.
The youngster was a good thing beaten at the trials on Tuesday morning - and, at the finish, there wasn't much between him and the winner, Mighty General. Just a neck, indeed.
Partnered by Michael Rodd, Superlative was always parked in midfield and only made his move when they straightened for that run home.
For a moment there, he did control things when he hit the front at the 250m mark. But he was joined by Mighty General and they raced together over the final 200m.
Head up, head down they went and, when it mattered most, Ruan Maia got Mighty General home first. The winner clocked 60.56sec for the 1,000m on the Polytrack.
From trainer Cliff Brown's yard, Superlative has been sparingly raced since making his race debut in August last year.
That day, he finished a distant eighth behind Mr Malek who, as we all know, has since gone on to greater things.
Given a break of four months but sent to the trials three times, Superlative was a different horse when he returned to racing in mid-January.
That day, over the 1,200m on grass, JP van der Merwe stole a page from out of the jockey's manual and rode Superlative to perfection.
He parked the youngster in third spot with cover, moved him into second when they straightened and before timing that final flourish just right.
Superlative did the rest. He came home to beat War Frontier by half a length.
Expected to do well in his last start, Superlative seemed "flat" and his connections could offer no explanation for that sub-standard performance.
However, don't judge him on that performance and the season ahead could still turn out to be a stellar one for this three-year-old.
The name Mighty General might not ring any bells. Nor will it trigger any fabulous flashbacks. But it's a name worth remembering.
You see, Mighty General looks to be on his way to a winning debut here at Kranji.
Owned by the Falcon Racing Stable and trained by Lee Freedman, he was impressive when winning his trial on Tuesday.
Just like it was when he put his first win on the board in the United Kingdom.
Yes, Mighty General isn't a wet behind the ears four-year-old. He's wise to the ways of racing, having had his "education" on racetracks in the UK.
Indeed, it was in May last year that Mighty General - then known as Hero Hero - won a 1,500m race at the world's oldest racecourse, Chester.
It was a Novice race and, with Silvestre de Sousa doing the steering, he made every post a winning one.
Anyway, that was then. This is now and Mighty General's preparation for his Singapore debut seems right on track.
He had his first trial just a fortnight ago and almost nailed it, coming from third at the turn only to be run down by Extra Win at the post.
Just a nose separated the pair. The winner clocked 60.72sec for the Poly 1,000m.
An entire by No Nay Never, it could be Ya Yes Yippee when he finally faces the starter.