Look for the 'tiger' in Tom Cat
Freedman's runners impress at yesterday morning's trackwork
The last time - which was the first time - Tom Cat went to the races, he purred all the way, like an engine yet to go full throttle.
And when his jockey pressed to "go" button, the cat took on the dimensions of a tiger.
With Joseph Azzopardi on the reins, Tom Cat showed his true pedigree, roaring away to put 31/2 lengths between himself and the rest.
Lee Freedman had picked the perfect race for his three-year-old to put in a dominant show.
That day, none of the youngsters were ever going to catch him and he picked off the white posts lining the track in a blur of speed.
That race, run just a month ago, was over 1,100m on the Poly and Tom Cat made it all his. He was the star.
Yesterday morning at trackwork, Tom Cat showed those at the ringside seats in the stands that he wasn't resting on his laurels.
Reunited with his winning jockey, Azzopardi, he was clearly not out to break any records as he ran the 600m 42.9sec.
While "slow" by timing devices, it was a good piece of work by the chestnut, who is owned by the Kajorn Petch Racing Stable.
Tom Cat takes on a strong Class 4 Division 1 field over the 1,100m on Friday night. At three, he will be the baby in the line-up, which is really a mixed bag of runners all older than him.
Still, and given the speed he showed in that first win last month, Tom Cat could give the older horses something to chase. And, in the form he looks to be in, they just might not catch him.
Another of Freedman's runners on Friday also caught the eye. Smoke And Mirrors had Alysha Collett on the reins when he clocked a fast 37sec for the 600m.
Owned by the trainer himself, Smoke And Mirrors arrived in March as an unraced two-year-old.
He had a trial in July when he finished a length second to Silver Sword. Smoke And Mirrors clocked 61.48sec for the trip.
Punters liked what they saw and backed him down to $14 in his debut a month later.
Caught wide early and obliged to drop back, Smoke And Mirrors came with a good run but failed by 3/4 lengths to catch Bencoolen.
Three weeks later, Freedman sent him back to the races where he again caught the fancy of the punters who sent him off as the $31 third pick. Again he found one to beat in Iron Ruler.
Last time out, he ran eighth to Atlas - but there were plenty of excuses.
It was the race which saw Benny Woodworth, riding Supermax, losing both his irons.
Approaching the 1,100m mark, the wayward horse took the running of Smoke And Mirrors, who was severly checked.
Then and there, Smoke And Mirrors lost all hope of winning. His race "over", he plodded home.
With 2-2-8 before his name, he deserves to have "1" added to those figures.