Eclair Choice shows his Rocket Man credentials
It's always special to win a feature race. And, if it's the first running of the event - like Sunday's Rocket Man Sprint - victory becomes even sweeter. Truly, one to tuck away for the ages.
For sentimental reasons, Fred Crabbia would love to win it. After all, the race is named after his most illustrious horse. And he'll be represented by Rafaello.
Alas, while being a "good horse", he is no Rocket Man.
Then again, a horse like Rocket Man comes along once in a lifetime so no owner or trainer should feel slighted if it is pointed out that none in this inaugural line-up carries that Rocket Man aura.
Still, just to start in the race should be taken as an honour and there will be plenty of talent on display on Sunday.
One of the sprint phenoms is a five-year-old named ECLAIR CHOICE.
By any measure, he was the star at the trials on Tuesday. Ridden by Manoel Nunes in the fourth of five hit-outs, Eclair Choice jumped from the outermost gate and, when the runners had settled, Nunes took him to the front.
Once there, he just kept going further and further ahead and even when Nunes took him wide when they turned for that run home, the gap didn't diminish.
Indeed, as Eclair Choice with Nunes in the saddle pulled even further ahead you wondered if the jockeys were worried about catching something contagious from the leading pair.
Seven-and-a-half lengths was the official distance which the Daniel Meagher-trained runner (formerly with Patrick Shaw) did in 59.64secs.
That, too, when not touched with the persuader or raked with the heels.
Good horses are like that.
The question is, on the back of that splendid trial, is Eclair Choice good enough to win the Rocket Man Sprint?
With four starts under his girth, he is the only runner in the stellar line-up NOT to have won a race at Kranji.
True. But don't let it bother you. The five-year-old knows what winning is all about. Until being flown out here from Australia where he did all of his early racing, he won six races Down Under at city tracks like Flemington and Caulfield.
Yes, here in Singapore he is not yet box office. But all that could change in 70 seconds - or under.
His record back home tells us he can race as if in contempt of the clock. His latest win at the trials - his fifth from seven early morning romps - had class stamped all over it.
Can he translate that unparalleled impudence into unparalleled dominance?
We shall see.