Excelling romps home for treble
Trainer Lee Freedman holds his horse in high esteem
Excelling continued his ascendancy by completing a hat-trick at Kranji on Friday night in the $85,000 Class 2 race over 1,100m on the Polytrack.
Although he was meeting some promising gallopers, the Lee Freedman-trained noted front-runner made all the running to beat the Tan Kah Soon-trained Group 3 New Year Cup winner Nowyousee by 11/2 lengths in 1min 04.98sec.
Four-time winner Lim's Dream finished third, half a length away.
The runner-up was gallant in defeat, considering that he gave the winner 7.5kg. He carried 50kg, to Nowyousee's 57.5kg.
Excelling has now taken his record to four wins and two placings from seven starts.
He has amassed more than $160,000 in prize money for Freedman, who owns the five-year-old by Manhattan Rain.
Freedman holds his charge in high esteem.
"It's great. This horse keeps climbing the ladder," said the Australian Hall of Fame trainer, who also won with Healthy Star.
"He had no weight on his back and it's a Class 2. We would have had to bring him back to Class 3 if he had not won.
"Kah Soon's horse came with a strong challenge, but I think the weight difference helped us. He also likes the Polytrack and he scored a decisive win.
"I think this horse has found his niche here. What I like about him is he didn't have many runs back home. He had good solid form there and he's a big horse, too."
Winning rider, champion apprentice Simon Kok, agreed that Excelling is an athletic individual who exudes power.
"He's a nice big horse. I rode him like I rode Augustus," he said.
"I just let him stride and he found more at the top of the straight. I was happy to see my horse find another gear in the straight."