Seattle Pride back to favourite trip
BACK to the grass and over 1,600 metres, leading trainer John Moore's Seattle Pride can return to winning form in the final event at Sha Tin today. Seattle Pride went close on the all-weather track at his last start when going under by three-parts of a length to stayer Manley's Star who acted particularly well on the tricky surface. Prior to that Seattle Pride had found the 1,900-metre trip too demanding, following a solid effort over 1,650 metres at the Valley which may not be his favoured track. It should all come together for the American-bred import today with Tony Cruz, pursuing his own title ambitions and helping Moore realise his, taking over from Gary Stevens. Seattle Pride is not going to the top in Hong Kong, but he has what it takes to win a race in Class Three and Moore has him right for this event. The four-year-old has been working quietly, but very well and has been favoured by the draw, giving Cruz every chance to have him settled just off the pace.
Seattle Pride invariably takes a forward position in his races and he should be safely tracking the leaders in the early and middle stages of this 14-runner event. With rain around and the definite possibility of some cut in the ground, it could well pay to keep trainer Bruce Hutchison's Perkyman firmly in mind. This Indian Ore six-year-old will relish any give in the track and his last run under Steven King was good. Hutchison, however, has posed problems for punters by engaging little-used senior rider K. H. 'Little' Hung, wavering earlier this season on the verge of immediate retirement.
Perkyman has also not been aided by the outside draw, but do not discard him as he is well placed. Defending champion jockey Basil Marcus has hopped aboard Fun And Smile and the South African does know when they are ready to do something. The gelding ran a grand race last time over course and distance and could win this without surprising too much.
Claimer Peter Y. S. Wong retains the ride on last start-winner In The Picture who supplied the final leg of an Ivan Allan treble that day. This is harder, but the rise in distance to 1,600 metres should be bang in the gelding's favour. He is far from being the worst.