Blue Swede set to shine for Shane
The New Paper Cup runner-up tops at trackwork
Sure, Mikki Joy lifted The New Paper Trophy. And it would have brought on the celebrations in the Shane Baertschiger camp.
After all, it said a lot for the preparation which went into getting the recent addition to the Baertschiger yard into that winning mode.
Sure again, Mikki Joy had to fight tooth and nail for that prize and would eventually beat his stablemate Blue Swede by a nose.
There were smiles aplenty at the picture-taking session and Baertschiger accepted all the congratulations.
But, I reckon, he felt an ache in the pit of his stomach as he watched Blue Swede being unsaddled and led back to the stable.
And it wouldn't have been because he happened to own the horse.
He would have felt that lump in his throat because Blue Swede has always been a loving presence in his yard, which has been his home since 2013.
But, as they say again and again, that's racing. That's the beauty of the sport. Ferrari could lose a Formula One race by a hundredth of a second but we won't shed tears for the car.
Not so, a racehorse.
But the story goes on and, come Sunday, Baertschiger could be punching the air in joy should Blue Swede win, what would be, his ninth race for his master.
Can the eight-year-old do it? I don't see why not?
He looked a picture on the training track yesterday morning when, with John Powell's feet planted firmly in the irons, he ran the 600m in 37.4sec - purring all the way. He had stablemate and last-start winner Red Dawn for company.
To those on trackside, Blue Swede's hit-out was indicative of a horse who is at the top of his game and raring to go.
The New Paper Cup was run over the 1,600m and that day over the concluding stages, Blue Swede was travelling better than all else.
The son of O'Reilly goes over 1,800m on Sunday. He's accustomed to the trip and it would be tremendously satisfying to see him win that one.
Red Dawn, his galloping companion yesterday, is a seven-year-old. But the thing about horses is, they don't have birthday parties to remind them that they're getting long in the tooth.
Red Dawn didn't know he was getting grey in the whiskers when he won that Class 4 race over the 1,100m just last month.
It was almost two years to the day that he had last greeted the judge but, as his owners - the Sungs of Auric Stable - would probably say, "who's counting?"
Red Dawn meets some really good horses on Sunday. Some, like Calculation and the mare Filibuster are almost half his age, while others like Yabadabadoo and Sacred Sham are very fit.
Indeed, Sacred Sham did an inspiring workout yesterday, clocking a super-fast 34.4sec for the 600m. Benny Woodworth rode him in that workout.
But, back to Red Dawn, he will find it tough now that he's racing in Class 3 company. But he will be in it for a long while.
Gallops by Sunday's runners
Tun O'Reilly * (J Powell) 37.3. Iron Fist * (M Lerner) canter/37.1. Lim's Mystery 39.7. Spokesman (MM Firdaus) 37.9. Berlinetta pace work. Hephaestus * (J See) 38.6.
Pakatan Warrior * (CK Ng) 35.1. Shangani (JP van der Merve) 36.4. Tigress * (T See) 38.1.
Blue Swede * (Powell) 37.4. What's New * 37.5.
Satellite Classic * (J See) 38.6. Phan Nee Star 43.4. Gridiron (B Thompson) 38.6.
Fulife Brilliance * (G Boss) 35.2. Copacabana (M Rodd) 37.8. Bringer Of War (Powell) 37.4. Satellite Winner * (J See) 37.8. Fusion Power (Powell) 45.
Halime (Firdaus) 35.9. Mighty Phoenix (T See) 39.6.
Sacred Sham * (B Woodworth) 34.4. Red Dawn (M Kellady) 37.4. Bartimaeus 42.4.
Federation * (R Zawari) 36.1. Axel (K A'Isisuhairi) 35.3.
Arc Triumph * 37.7. Kiss Your Song (Kellady) 37.7. Leading Cellist (T See) 43.4. Effortless (Kellady) 37.3. Soldado (Powell) 37.7.
Grand Koonta * (Rodd) 37.2. Red Symphony 44.7. Sacred Guru * (Woodworth) 37.5. Ladrone (Kellady) 37.3. Accelerando (M Zaki) 36.4.
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