Ping slips brisk trial into promising Jeans
IMPRESSIVE griffin winner Red Jeans is being kept up to the mark by trainer Wong Tang-ping who would have had every reason to be pleased with the youngster's showing in a barrier trial at Sha Tin yesterday morning.
At this advanced stage of the season it is rare to see a juvenile winner involved in an equitrack trial, but Red Jeans is earning his keep and his late-running third to Super Bingo II was a solid effort.
Red Jeans look to be a quality stayer in the making and his brilliant win over hot favourite Certeza on April 13 underlined the innate ability of the horse. That was over 1,400 metres and the way he came through to take it up for Greg Childs suggested that he will be looking for more ground later in what could be a successful career.
Super Bingo II quickly assumed command in the trial and won it by a length from Red Jeans' stablemate, King's Honour. There was two lengths back to Red Jeans, but he came from second last to really charge into top gear in the concluding stages of the trial.
He has certainly come on well from his defeat of Certeza and trainer Wong can happily plan ahead with this fellow.
The David Hill-trained William's Tact caught the eye in the opening trial where he went under by a neck to Noble Dancer, who is holding his form.
As usual, William's Tact missed the start but made up a lot of ground in the straight under John Marshall and is being aimed for a 2,000-metre race. On this trial he could be a factor in that.
Trainer Lawrie Fownes had the winner of the trial, but also produced a tidy type in Sincerely Yours. He finished fourth, but is worth keeping an eye on as he had only one start in the UK for Jack Berry so there should still be plenty in the tank - not always the case with horses from that stable.
Tony Cruz has the title all but wrapped up and remains the target for many owners and trainers in the final days of the campaign.
He does look a significant booking for Owners' Success who is entered in a conditions race for non-winners next Wednesday. Cruz gave Owners' Success a sharp sound-out yesterday being clocked in 51.2 and on the gelding's best form he will be a major chance in this 1,600-metre race.
Not surprisingly, in a number of races Cruz is spoiled for choice so it is always worth noting his eventual preference. Owners' Success worked with stablemate Classabove and does seem to be in good heart.
Cruz will also ride the David Oughton-trained Invincible at its next start and this galloper is also worth keeping an eye on. Invincible went well for the prospective champion jockey and has also trained on well since that run.
The Piaget Gold Cup is now the target for English handicapper Viva Icta and, in a busy morning, Cruz also gave the Peter Ng Bik-kuen galloper a hit-out. With stablemate Grand Vefour, he went 1:20.5, the last quarter in 24.2, and is in good shape.
Grand Vefour has been rather disappointing and Viva Icta, as would have been expected, went better.
Horses moving stables in Hong Kong have an incredible first-up record for their new trainers and local handler Stephen S. L. Leung must be pleased with Think Tank, formerly trained by Hill.
Think Tank is progressing along favourable lines and was clocked in a sharp and exciting 1:18.00 yesterday. He worked with hot sprinter Rotary King and it was a searching gallop with both horses coming out of it well.