Lucky Hada ready for 2,000m show
Friday night's rival Wonderful Paint also impresses on the Kranji training track yesterday morning
With 2,000m races few and far between, Friday night's stayers' event over the distance will attract a load of interest as punters attempt to figure out which horses among the 15 entries possess the best credentials to win over the testing trip.
Well, to help them along, they would have seen a handful of them being put through their paces on the training track yesterday morning and two, in particular, would have caught their attention.
Lucky Hada had Daniel Moor in the saddle when he reeled off the 600m in 39.3sec while the Leslie Khoo-trained Wonderful Paint went really well for jockey Noh Senari, clocking 37.7sec for the same trip.
Lucky Hada has, since making his first Kranji appearance in July last year, shown signs of being one who could soon be contesting the big money races.
He's got that lumbering style of a big horse, which always sees him doing his best work over the concluding stages of the race.
He can, early in a race, roll along seemingly uninterested. Then, as the call of the race reaches his twitching ears in the stretch, he can reinvent himself.
From being the slow coach, he suddenly move into overdrive, reeling off the metres so that, with the finish in sight, he ensures agony and panic has broken out behind him. We saw that when he opened his account in last August.
Rolling along in sixth spot early in that 1,400m race, he was the widest runner when they straightened.
Two hundred metres to go and Moor pressed the turbo switch.
Off he went, gobbling up the metres and upping the stakes. Smooth Operator made a fight of it but Lucky Hada had the momentum and prevailed by the narrowest of margins.
He ran an almost identical race when winning his last start, which was over the mile.
Again, and after holding a spot just off midfield, he came grinding up the straight. He seemed to know that winning post was the only spot on the racetrack which mattered.
So, as the grandstand erupted, he headed for it - straight as an arrow and just as deadly.
It was just last week that Lucky Hada won a trial in brilliant style, clocking 60.12sec for the 1,000m.
If that didn't top him up sufficiently for the 2,000m, yesterday's workout would have knocked off the rough edges.
Yes, Lucky Hada looks good to go.
That's is, if Wonderful Paint lets him. From Khoo's yard, he has, well, been there, done that.
An out-and-out stayer, he has won four from eight, the last one being over Friday's trip of 2,000m. So that's one question asked and answered.
Indeed, and from what we have seen of him, he can stay all day. It was just last month that he won a similar sort of race in similar sort of company.
That day, he didn't have the "perfect run". Instead, he was difficult to settle in the early stages and had to be eased back.
Still, he powered home from near last to win handsomely. He certainly looks like one of those who can "stay until the cows come home" and he will be asked to do that on Friday.
His credentials say he can do it. And, on the strength of his workout, he just might be the one flashing home with Lucky Hada for company.