Rocket Star set for blast off
The best from the training track yesterday morning
You've got to feel for Rocket Star and his band of supporters.
Last time out on Feb 28, that last-stride dive at the line proved to be a tad too late and Yaya Papaya pinched the victory by the narrowest of margins.
He went into that race looking good for back-to-back victories but it all came undone by the doggedness of the winner.
Well, the advice is to stick with him.
Rocket Star is one of the many up-and-coming young stars in Ricardo Le Grange's yard and he could blossom into a really smart horse.
Down to contest the Class 4 race over the mile on Sunday, he was put through his paces on the training track yesterday morning and he ticked all the boxes.
With apprentice T Krisna taking the reins, Rocket Star was in his element, running the 600m in 36.8sec.He had stablemate and last-start winner Churchill (R Munger) as a galloping companion.
Churchill is not entered for this weekend's meetings. So, it was all about Rocket Star.
It was in late January that he last saluted the judge and, as one, the crowd at Kranji rose to salute him.
Why not? It was an impressive win over the 1,400m. Actually, fluent is the word. Vlad Duric jumped him well and quickly took up a trailing spot behind the leaders.
There he stayed, humming along, until the field straightened. Peeled out for clear running room, Rocket Star opened up stylishly to take the race by 21/2 lengths.
Sent to the trials some three weeks ago, he won that hit-out with relative ease.
Owned by Rodolfo Mendoza, Rocket Star has yet to finish outside the placings in all of his eight Kranji starts. That a great statistic for any horse.
To date, that win last June, when he was still a two-year-old, and the five occasions when he had to settle for second spot, have sent his earnings close to the $200,000 mark.
Come Sunday, Le Grange appears to have picked out a winnable race for his youngster. It's over the mile and on the turf, which seems to be his preferred surface.
Opposition will come from the likes of Implement and Magnificent Gold - just to name a couple - but when push comes to shove, Rocket Star should be throwing his weight around.
Also showing up on the training track was Takhi. He finished full of running when clocking 38.9sec for the 600m.
An American-bred, Takhi was a good winner on debut. That was less than three weeks ago. Obliged to race wide for most of the 1,200m trip on the Poly, he came with a blistering run over the final 200m.
All credit to young apprentice Dennis Tan Zhi Xian, who gave his all to land the winner.
Takhi had three trials coming into that race and, with yesterday's gallop serving as a tune-up, he should be ripe and ready for that assignment on Friday the 13th.
Don't be scared. Go with him.