Zac Kasa tops the trials
Walker’s grey may be getting a bit long in the tooth, but he is still far from over the hill
Come next year, trainer Mark Walker looks ready to carry on from where he left off.
The champion trainer from the season just concluded had three runners at the trials yesterday morning and he came away with two winners.
Incidentally, yesterday’s trials – and there were four of them – were the first to be run since racing at Kranji took a breather after the Nov 27 meeting.
Back to Walker’s “wins” at the trials. They came courtesy of Zac Kasa in the third and Deception in the last.
The seven-year-old Zac Kasa does not seem to realise that he is getting long in the tooth.
In human terms, he is an “uncle”. But, I must say, he is a feisty one. If only he learns some barrier manners.
Today, Zac Kasa is still a larrikin behind the gates.
Yesterday, he proved as stubborn as ever and eventually went into the chute, riderless.
However, that was where the shenanigans ceased.
Once the gates flung open, Zac Kasa was off and running. Up in the saddle, Manoel Nunes got him to settle and they hummed along in front.
War Room, trained by Michael Clements and ridden by Oscar Chavez, tried to keep in touch.
But it was always a lost cause.
Into the final stretch and Zac Kasa was still in his element. He had a length on War Room and soon it was two. A furlong out and Nunes was still enjoying a sedan-chair ride.
Zac Kasa did not need a breather. Indeed, he soon put daylight between himself and the chasing pack.
When the finish loomed, he was almost five lengths clear of War Room. Qaraat was third.
Even when kept on a hold, Zac Kasa covered the 1,000m trip in a good 59.31sec.
Through the years, he has been a good horse to have in the yard. In total, he has won four races and has been second five times.
In the just-concluded season, Zac Kasa raced just five times. But he has been to the trials three times in the last two months – including yesterday’s hit-out.
It is uncertain when he will have his first start in the 2022 season. But, when he does face the starter, have something riding on him.
Even at seven, he is good enough for a couple more wins.
As for that other Walker winner, Deception, he could have a good first season – provided, of course, he maintains and improves on what we saw at his trial.
Ridden by former champion jockey and one-time trainer Saimee Jumaat, Deception did it differently from Zac Kasa.
Instead of playing catch-me-if-you-can, Deception was patience personified.
After jumping cleanly, he settled in fourth spot as Gold Cut, Surge and Ayya went hell for leather up front.
Saimee was in no hurry. He knew he had a good horse and he did not push any panic buttons.
Straightening up for the run home, he still had three horses in front of him.
But he was striding along nicely and Saimee waited until they were 200m out before making a move.
Deception was up to the task and, when he opened up, he gobbled up the front runners like they were jello. In the end, he won the trial by four lengths.
He did not beat the time set by the experienced Zac Kasa. But, for a three-year-old, his 60.57sec was more than commendable.
Just for the record, yesterday’s sprint was Deception’s third trial since Nov 2.
That day, he showed fighting spirit to win by a neck, clocking 61.09sec.
He was runner-up in his trial on Nov 18. Again, it was a tight finish and he clocked 62.39sec.
Deception, who is a son of I Am Invincible, has yet to show up in a race at Kranji.
But, on the strength of that second trial win, he seems good and ready to begin his campaign in fine style.