Kinane called upon to lift Chan's Spirit
TRAINER Tony P. H. Chan has had a trying season to date with five winners, but things could take a turn for the better at Happy Valley tomorrow night where Free Spirit runs in the first leg of the Double Trio. Chan has turned to Irish ace Mick Kinane to partner Free Spirit who was ridden somewhat adventurously when trying to make all the running at the city track two weeks ago over 1,650 metres.
It was the gelding's first start of the season and he opened up a massive break under Johnny K. S. Ho, but compounded in the closing stages and went under to Celestial King. This is a Class Six race again tomorrow night and, ostensibly, the step up to 1,800 metres might be deemed not to be in Free Spirit's favour. However, he should have derived some benefit from his stirring first-up outing and the decision to engage Kinane makes a lot of sense. The horse will be rated to get this trip and it does not take a lot of ability to win a Class Six race over 1,800 metres.
The relatively lightly raced Free Spirit should certainly have enough of what it takes to finish in the first three. Sky Eagle ran a better race last time over 2,230 metres and looks a chance in this modest contest along with Karaoke, although that one has had a lot of chances. Smart Boy has a lot to find on Free Spirit on their last outing while Say Yes could be tested at the trip.
The second leg of the Double Trio also poses problems for punters as it is a Classes Three and Four test over 2,230 metres with only local riders involved in a conditions race. New Airport has been in encouraging form and was a winner recently at the city track which suggests a follow-up is not impossible.
The trip suits admirably and Jackie C. K. Tse had a morale-boosting winner with Pride And Joy on Sunday at Sha Tin. Trainer Wong Tang-ping starts America Supreme over a more suitable distance than his previous outing over a Sha Tin mile and stable claimer Vicki C. W. Choi has the mount. He is a younger horse with ability and can reach the frame while Sung Shan is facing up to a more suitable trip.