Our Showcase deserves a break
Tuesday's Kranji barrier trials
No one knows more about winning races than Cheah Kim Teck.
As a schoolboy athlete turned national middle-distance runner, he's won some, lost some and - if I may say so - he's enjoyed every moment of those heady days.
Indeed, he was part of that Singapore 4x400m relay team which set a national record at the Asian Games in Teheran in 1974.
That said, I'm don't think he's been enjoying seeing his horse, Our Showcase, taking the "silver medal" three times and the "bronze", once. But never the gold.
Yes, can Our Showcase buy a break? He definitely deserves it.
Well, the good news is, Our Showcase looked like a winner at the trials on Tuesday morning.
Yes, Cheah would have liked what he had seen.
With apprentice Zyrul Nor Azman on the reins, Our Showcase was "off the blocks" in style and quickly took up the running.
Into the stretch and there was a semblance of a challenge from Lim's Passion and the exciting Elite Remarkable, who will be on a high of 80 rating points when he does go to the races.
But Our Showcase wasn't cowed. He just dug deeper, pulled out what reserves he had in the tank and raced away to win by a length and a quarter.
Lim's Passion, who was always up there, ran second for jockey Michael Rodd while trainer Mark Walker's Elite Remarkable charged home late to pip Macavity to the bronze.
But it was all about Our Showcase.
From that stylish sire, Showcasing, he has still to knock home a win. Having placed so many times over sprints, trainer Bruce Marsh decided to send him over the 1,600m last time out.
That would surely have got the nod from Cheah.
After all, what could be more nostalgic than Our Showcase winning a middle-distance race? It would have been like old times.
However, it was not to be. Our Showcase ripped along in front for most of the trip.
But as the finish line approached, the early effort was taking its toll and Military Chairman - who was playing the predator - lunged and got the verdict by a neck.
Our Showcase wasn't disgraced. He will have his 12th start in Race 3 on Sunday. Will he finally break through? Will he, at last, get that gold medal? Why not? The time seems right.
Also at the trials, we saw Jomo being put through his paces and the big fella looked in fine fettle.
He didn't win the trial. That honour went to eight-year-old Pole Paradise. He took third. But it was Jomo who commandered the attention and he gave those at trackside a good feeling.
Off cleanly with the rest, jockey Daniel Moor seemed content to allow him to race in midfield and in clear air. There he stayed as Pole Paradise and Loving You swopped places in front.
It was only when they were inside the final 250m that Jomo worked into it. And he did it well, coming home on the outside - but never being asked by Moor to do more than what was necessary.
Scratched from his last assignment on March 24, there seemed nothing amiss at the trials and it will be good to see him back to his winning ways. - BRIAN MILLER
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