This 'Hero' will keep fighting on
Action for the training track
Hero In The Wind is not going to Hollywood anytime soon. Then again, he's never been box office and he's never going to have his name etched into any honour board.
But he can certainly become a matinee idol.
Like most Class 5 gallopers, he occasionally hears bugles and then, like an old cavalry horse, he answers the call with a swift turn of foot.
Hero In The Wind is a six-year-old. In horsey terms, he's approaching middle age. But he doesn't know that. And his trainer, Hideyuki Takaoka, isn't about to break the news.
So, in that subculture of sawdust and feed buckets, Hero In The Wind plods on.
Like yesterday on the training track, the chestnut went about his work with real gusto.
With Marc Lerner on the reins, he disposed of the 600m in a swift time of 36.8sec.
It was a solid piece of work and from the galloper who, in his recent races, has given us every indication that he is running into a rich vein of form.
Just three weeks ago, at his only start in the new season, he put in a decent show, finishing third in that 1,700m contest for Class 5 stayers.
The race was won by his stablemate Bebop who charged home from way back to land the prize. Codigos, from Ricardo Le Grange's yard, was the meat in the sandwich and he prevented it from being a Takaoka quinella.
Sure, it's been a long wait between drinks but Hero In The Wind in no slouch. He has been knocking at the door and, if he manages to bring his track form to the races, who knows?
Come Saturday, in Race 3, Takaoka could turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.
There was also plenty to like about the way Sun General went about his work in preparation for Saturday's assignment.
With JP van der Merwe in the saddle, he ran the trip in 38.1sec. No fuss, no bother.
A five-year-old, Sun General is many deposits away from repaying the $250,000 his owners, Sun Bloodstock Racing Stable, paid for him as a yearling.
Yet to put a win on the board, he came closest when second by a nostril to Sacred Sea. But that was many, many moons ago.
He could be crying out for Class 5, but he is still worth some consideration when you're planning your betting strategy for Race 9 on Saturday.
One that is not punching over his weight is Smoke And Mirrors. He had Patrick Moloney on top when running the 600m in 39.3sec.
Owned and trained by Lee Freedman, he will lead them out in Race 2 on Saturday and, right now on paper, the race is shaping up to be a mighty interesting contest.
It'll feature 14 sprightly two- and three-year-olds and, when the starter releases them, it could be a stampede to the first turn in that 1,200m dash.
If Smoke And Mirrors can stay out of the skirmish, he could be the one charging home from the pack and leading them to the line.