Red Ocean’s ready after a rest
Yesterday's top gallops from the training track at Kranji
It will be three months since Red Ocean last raced.
That day in August, he was backed down to a prohibitive odds and went off as the $9 favourite.
While his backers expected a roar, all they got was a whimper.
Red Ocean finished fourth, well beaten in the race won by Champagne Finale.
Danny Beasley, his jockey that day, attributed his substandard show to a rise in class and the big weight he had to carry.
His trainer, Shane Baertschiger, said his charge was uncomfortable on the rain-affected track and he informed the racing stewards that Red Ocean would be spelled.
Well, that's now water under the bridge.
Red Ocean was indeed rested - but will see action on Saturday.
In preparation for that assignment, Baertschiger sent his charge for a gallop yesterday morning and he would have been pleased with the way things turned out.
Red Ocean, with Mohd Zaki in the saddle, clocked 38.1sec for that 600m hit-out. He was paced by stablemate Free Fallin', who is down to contest the Class 4 event over the Poly 1,700m.
As for Red Ocean, he did all things right. Forget that last start. He is better than that.
Already a two-time winner from just six starts, he should - and contrary to what Beasley said - be comfortable in Class 4.
The horses he beat in those Restricted Maiden and Novice races - Con Speranza and Prodigal respectively - weren't pushovers.
They're both talented youngsters who should soon be winning races at Kranji.
Red Ocean isn't done yet. That defeat, when backed down to short odds, is just a smudge on a canvas that isn't yet complete.
He should run a big race on Saturday. Track and trip fit like a glove.
However, there could be an obstacle in the form of All We Know, who was also on the training track. He had Oscar Chavez doing the navigating when running 600m in 39.2sec.
From Jason Ong's yard, he has had a busy last few months.
Since putting a third win on the board in mid-July, he has raced three times - in August, September and late last month.
Those runs produced a win and a third.
Last time, on Oct 23, he was touted as a good thing over the Class 4 1,400m event. However, on the day, he had to settle for third - 11/2 lengths behind the winner, Saturno Spring.
There were no excuses. He was beaten fair and square.
A runner who always comes off a spot in midfield to mount a challenge, All We Know will be the one swooping down on, probably, Red Ocean in the closing stages.
It should be a treat to watch.
Then there was Sunday.
He, too, was one of the top performers on the training track, cantering to loosen up before running 600m in a brisk 37.3sec.
Prepared by Donna Logan, he was an impressive winner two Saturdays ago.
He appears to be holding that winning form and could again give his Class 5 rivals run for their money.