Taka’s twosome step out in style
Golazo and Wind Trail impress on the training track
Over at Kranji, they call him the "master" - and it's not for nothing.
When it comes to distance races, trainer Hideyuki Takaoka's horses always warrant a second glance.
Yes, the guy's good at turning out winners - especially in those races where the runners have to make two sweeping turns.
Yesterday morning, on the training track, two of Takaoka's horses - Golazo and Wind Trail - looked well when cantering and then clocking 38.4sec for the 600m.
To put it in a nutshell, both horses have not lost any condition since their last starts and will carry that form into Sunday's contest.
Wind Trail won over the 2,000m last time out, while Golazo ran fourth over the mile some three weeks ago.
As for the 1,800m trip, what's there to worry about? Both horses are well schooled and Takaoka has made sure they can stay all day.
Wind Trail has won three races. They were over the mile, the 1,800m and, most recently, 2,000m. On all three occasions, he turned on full power over the final 200m to shoot down those in front of him.
If there is a question mark, it's the fact that this will be his first assignment for 2020. He last raced in October. That's four long months.
Then again, Takaoka must know what he is doing. And Marc Lerner, who has been in the saddle on all three occasions when he has won, has again opted to take the ride.
As for Golazo, the 1,800m is his caper. He's won five races over that distance and it was as recent as November that he put in back-to-back victories over the trip.
Last time out, he contested the mile. It proved a tad too short and when he was finally at full stretch, the race was all over. He will appreciate the extra 200m.