Fortune holds key to trio
IRISHMAN Jimmy Fortune has his best book of rides for some time at tomorrow night's Sha Tin meeting where he could hold the key to the opening events in the elusive Triple Trio. Fortune has shown his power in the saddle on a number of occasions and from trackwork it looks as if he is going to figure prominently in the third event on the David Hill-trained Happy Hunting and in the fourth on the Wylie Wong-trained Fairview Star. Happy Hunting has needed his runs so far this season, but he was a most progressive sort 12 months ago and ran well for a long way in the Derby before the 1,800-metre trip found him out.
Tomorrow night he is back to his best distance of 1,400 metres and like so many of Hill's runners, he is all the better for a couple of runs back. Hill has also upped his trackwork tempo over the last week or so and Happy Hunting has responded to all Hill has asked of him. Yesterday he went particularly well as he lengthened clear of his exciting stablemate, Kowloon Pride, when Fortune asked him to pick up in the straight.
Not that the opening leg of the Triple Trio is going to be easy for Happy Hunting. The Lawrie Fownes-trained Noble Dancer is going much better than prior to his seasonal reappearance. Noble Dancer has always been a smart worker. He lacked his usual zip before that opening run, but he showed all his old trackwork aplomb when leaving his modest stablemates, Ace Of Hearts and Mashooq, some 10 lengths behind in a solid jump out from the barriers at the top of the back straight yesterday morning.
The David Hayes-trained newcomer Perfect Swing is likely to come in for plenty of support on suspicion alone, such is Hayes' fine record since arriving in the territory. But it could just be that Perfect Swing finds 1,400 metres a bit on the sharp side on his debut in Hong Kong. Things could be happening just a bit fast for him and he may also need the run.
There has been nothing wrong with the way that Donizetti has worked since his last-start second to Able Monarch and Derek Cruz has Leprechaun looking better than ever. Fortune's mount, Fairview Star, has drawn badly in barrier 14 in the 2,000-metre fourth race, but then he is the type to get back and run on strongly. Hopefully Fortune can get him across and tucked in behind the pace before making up ground in the latter half of the race. Fairview Star ran well on his reappearance in a mile race on the dirt and has since gone firmly into the notebook with a most encouraging trial at Happy Valley.
The distance will suit A Fortune who is also a last-start winner, while Money Fountain didn't get the run of the race last time. The last leg of the Triple Trio, the night's final event, is the real tough one. David Oughton has Mazal in fine condition, while Neville Begg's Palette Star was a good winner of a trial at Happy Valley a week ago. Both these merit close attention as does the Hayes-trained Fun And Smile who didn't have much luck last time when trapped on the inside.
Shining Winner went very well yesterday morning in the blinkers which he wears for the first time tomorrow night, while Patrick Biancone's Amazing Win went firmly into the notebook first time out.