Allan's Quick Action pays off
QUICK Action ended Debonair's unbeaten run in yesterday's feature Chinese Club Challenge Cup - but only after a titanic struggle the length of the Sha Tin straight.
Indeed, connections can take heart from Debonair's defeat. This was his acid test. The first time he'd dipped his toe into Class One waters.
He failed by just a short head against last season's star private purchase griffin who had been prepared to a tee by champion trainer Ivan Allan.
Quick Action also had a smooth run throughout under Basil Marcus before running down Debonair a stride before the post.
'We were parked three wide for much of the way but the crucial thing is that he was covered up and balanced,' said Marcus.
'He didn't have any buffeting and it was having him balanced the whole way that probably won us the race.
'He hadn't had much luck when trapped wide in his previous starts and he'd also really impressed in his lead-up work.' David Hill was delighted with Debonair's effort as there is a world of difference between dominating the likes of Parkview Fame over 975 metres in a modest Class Two event at the Valley to taking on some of the best Class One sprinters in training.
Debonair also had somewhat of a tough run up on the speed, with the likes of Grassland Star refusing to allow him any peace.
'If he could just have been left alone a bit more then he may have won,' reflected Hill.
'The experience will also have done him good and so will the race.
'This is the first time he's had to fight and when John [Marshall] gave him a couple of cracks [with the whip] he took a little time to respond.
'Next time he will know a lot more about things and he'll also be that much fitter for this run.
'Let's just hope that his legs are all right in the morning.' The John Moore-trained Mount Hansen stuck on for third, just holding Quick Action's stablemate Multi National who showed a Class One success is well within his grasp.
Multi National didn't get the best of runs in the straight yet nothing went better to the line. Watch out for him, he's still improving.
But Darren Gauci was disappointed with Auto-Matching who appeared to be travelling well on the corner.
'I think he didn't put everything into his effort,' said Gauci.
Noble Dancer looked to be going well enough for Alan Munro on the rails but was another to suffer traffic problems in the straight as he couldn't find a gap on Dashing's inside.