Canadian Champ set to come of age
By ROBIN PARKE
CANADIAN Champ is on the verge of a win and it could come for Greg Childs and leading trainer John Moore in the fifth event at Sha Tin today. Moore, who is probably odds-on to win the title for the fifth time, has brought Canadian Champ along perfectly and the New Zealand three-year-old is poised to strike in a race that is there for the taking. Childs is in top form at the moment and looks an ideal partner for Canadian Champ whose third placing in a local riders' race last time out showed just how far he had come on.
He was ridden by maximum claimer Peter W. L. Ho and finished just over two lengths away third to Super Goal with Zeus second at his last start. Zeus has made that form look more than reasonable with a solid second last week to In The Picture. The draw can be vital on the narrow D Course and Canadian Champ will jump from barrier seven in the full field of 14 and Childs will have him well placed. Canadian Champ has worked well for this race but, more importantly, has been trained with an end-of-season win in mind.
Prince Baikal needed the run last time when he was back after a lengthy break and looks a major quinella chance along with Highland Laddie. Gary Stevens, riding at his last meeting this time around, takes over from a maximum claimer on Prince Baikal whose overall form is solid enough for him to be a real chance. Highland Laddie has been inconsistent in previous seasons, but has been reaching the frame this time and gives the impression from his work that he is fighting fit and ready for today's engagement. Shining Winner won last start by a head under Stevens, but this is definitely harder and he has not been missed by the handicapper.
The win was probably overdue as he had been running places for much of the season. Shining Winner is not out of it, but it would be a mighty effort to win.