Qaidoom, Hamama holding form
Walker-Al Rashid duo impress at trackwork yesterday morning
For trainers, winners just don't fall onto their laps. It's the end product of early mornings, hard slogs and knowledge.
To prepare a horse for a win is no easy task. It is made even more challenging to get a horse to win on debut.
Last month saw Mark Walker turn two first-time, wet-behind-the-ears youngsters into debut winners - the pair look like they're not done yet.
We're talking about Qaidoom and Hamama.
Qaidoom, a dusky-looking grey which makes her more of a roan, won at her first start on Aug 8. A week later, Hamama followed suit.
Both those wins came after Qaidoom and Hamama were put through several trials.
Well, Walker has not let their form slip. Indeed, they're looking good as new.
Both youngsters were on the training track yesterday morning and, under overcast skies, they - sure as ever - impressed clockers on trackside.
Sent out together, the pair ran 600m in 35.7sec. It was a fine piece of work and it told us one thing.
The two "girls" - Qaidoom and Hamama - could be the ones to beat in their respective races on Saturday.
Qaidoom, who is entered for Class 5 sprint over the short and sharp 1,000m, won her race with an air of authority.
Out in front in a jiffy, she didn't give the others a sniff of her withers. She just hummed along, teasing the boys with what must have been a horse's smirk.
Ridden by bang-in-form apprentice jockey Hakim Kamaruddin, Qaidoom went to the line on a loose rein. She beat Tesoro Pirata by 31/2 lengths.
It was an Open Maiden contest run over the short sprint and the victory was, indeed, comprehensive.
On that showing, Qaidoom won't be in Class 5 for long. So, as they say, strike while the iron is hot. And Qaidoom is as hot as they come.
Incidentally, for the purpose of yesterday's hit-out, Qaidoom was partnered by Rizuan Shafiq, while Hakim took the reins on Hamama.
As for Hamama, she was equally impressive in her debut win.
A fine-looking chestnut, Hamama went under the hammer as a two-year-old for US$150,000 (S$202,000) but she has already begun to repay her owners, Al Rashid Stable.
That win on Aug 15 was something special.
Again, it was Hakim who was entrusted with the job and he did it admirably, bringing home the American-bred mare to beat Teardrops by almost a length.
Hamama has the makings of a moneyspinner, so look out for those now-so-familiar mustard-and-white silks in that Class 4 sprint. They should be on the jockey dictating things up front.
Strong N Best also worked liked a good horse yesterday, running 600m in 39.4sec with a stablemate for company.
A nine-time starter with a win and four seconds, Strong N Best tackles the mile on Saturday.
It was over this trip that he ran second to Real Efecto last start.
From trainer Kuah Cheng Tee's yard, he could make amends when Saturday racing resumes.