High five for unbeaten Surpass Natural, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

High five for unbeaten Surpass Natural

All credit to Leticia Dragon for a training feat

It was 12 days ago, on Oct 17, that we popped the question.

Just how good is Surpass Natural? That was after he won a trial two days earlier in fine fashion.

We said he could do five-in-a-row. And why not?

After all, he was still a work in progress and that there was still plenty of horse left in him that we had not yet seen.

Well, punters knew that too and, on Friday night, they accorded him the ultimate compliment a racing man could offer a racehorse.

They backed him down to even money.

Then they sat back and watched Surpass Natural do his thing.

And, as they had expected, it was a re-run of a "show" they had seen four times before. Only this time, it was a spectacle.

The Leticia Dragon-trained Surpass Natural beat them all, leading from pillar to post with jockey John Powell astride to become the first horse this season to score five wins in a row.

But, it wasn't just five-in-a-row. It was much, much better than that.

The Elvstroem four-year-old had done it at his first five starts, an achievement which adds even more merit to his growing status as a racehorse.

Champion trainer Mark Walker's Sacred Croix reeled off a four-in-a-row earlier in the year but stumbled at the fifth start.

Surpass Natural's stablemate Nimble also pulled off five wins on the bounce, but the first two wins were recorded last year.

Naturally, his trainer was over the moon.

"It's not easy to win five from five. I think he's the first one to do that this year, I'm very proud of him," said Dragon.

"Nimble also won five in a row, but he did it over two years. Friday night was a big test for Surpass Natural; he did it the hard way.

"I thought he would be softened up, but he still quickened up and kept going all the way to the line.

"I will now look for a Class 2 race over 1,200m for him. I hope he can get a weight where JP can ride him again, and let's hope the unbeaten run keeps going."

His regular partner, Powell jumped Surpass Natural smartly from his middle draw to take up a handy spot outside main threat Kiss Your Song (Vlad Duric).

The duelling pair eye-balled each other all the way to the top of the straight, where Surpass Natural gained the ascendancy rather easily.

His clear superiority quickly came to the fore as he drew clear for Powell, before holding off a challenge from Cliff Brown's mare Ararat Lady (apprentice jockey Yusoff Fadzli), to whom he conceded 8.5kg.

Runner-up at his last five starts, Kiss Your Song again toughed it out right until the end, picking up a cheque for finishing third.

"Full credit to Leticia for having made this horse win five races from Restricted Maiden company all the way to Class 3. She's done a really great job with him," said Powell.

"He had not raced for six to seven weeks, but he trialled very well two weeks ago. He's won up to 1,200m, but he's heading up towards 1,400m. I still believe he will be better with blinkers on."

Surpass Natural has banked about $170,000 for Sky Eye Stable - and the job's not done yet.