Test done, full marks to Dinar
The best from Tuesday morning's trials at Kranji
For a horse who didn't look like he could win his last start - but he did, and in fine style too - Dinar could be a horse to follow.
From trainer Mark Walker's yard, he did everything wrong on that August day - yet came through to score impressively.
Sent to the trials by order of the racing stewards who did not like the way he was hanging out throughout, Dinar owned that hit-out on Tuesday morning.
Ridden by up-and-coming woman rider Jerlyn Seow, he led from go to whoa.
Although horse and rider had to dig deep into that bag of form, they still managed to hold off Knight Love, who charged home like a drunk trying to make Happy Hour.
Needless to say, Dinar passed that 1,000m "test" with flying colours. He didn't clock a time which Seow would have been proud to broadcast - Dinar ran the 1,000m in 61.38sec - but he won it with plenty of authority.
Now for the real test.
Can Dinar make it a race-to-race double? I don't see why not.
Compared to the run when winning his last start, Tuesday morning saw him pitch perfect.
Seow kept him on a nice hold throughout and not once did her mount show a tendency to hang out. He ran like a good racehorse - always on the bit and as straight as an arrow.
And when push came to shove, his true colours shone through. What a difference from eight weeks ago.
If he continues to leave the shenanigans in the stable and run like he did at the trials, his next race will be something his connections can look forward to.
Runner-up Knight Love was having a bleeder's test and it went smoothly.
Trained by Tan Kah Soon, he was a revelation at the tail-end of last season when he put his second win on the board.
We expected a lot from him in 2021 but he never realises that potential. The best he could do from six starts was a third behind Mystery Power and The Marksman in April.
In the final trial of the morning, Tax Free was a runaway winner. Ridden by veteran Saifudin Ismail, he took command on settling and never gave back that advantage.
The others, like Den Of Thieves, Red Ocean and Gold Zest, went to great lengths to try and run him down. But he was as slick as a thief in the night and they never caught him.
If anything, he made them eat his dust. Eventually, they all waved the white flag and Tax Free romped in by 51/4 lengths.
Such was his eagerness to gallop that Saifudin only pulled him up deep in the back stretch.
With three wins to show - two in 2019 and one last year - Tax Free has still to rediscover that winning form.
Trainer John O'Hara has put him through the grind, running him in five trials since April.
Tax Free has also tumbled in the ratings and is on the cusp of Class 5. When he does get there, O'Hara might just treat us to a winner.