Childs' hands full of future winners
IT was a busy morning at the track yesterday for International Cup-winning jockey Greg Childs. The New Zealander, retained by Neville Begg during his final season in the territory, started the campaign in brilliant form. He is not riding any different, but things have gone a little bit quiet for him in recent meetings and he will be doubly keen to get back among the winners this afternoon. Childs has a number of useful rides, especially King Star in the sixth for Begg and Faisca in the preceeding race for champion trainer John Moore who often makes use of Childs' accomplished services. It was Childs, remember, who rallied Moore's Survey King to dead heat with stablemate, Makarpura Star, in the end-of-season staying championship, the Champions and Chater Cup. King Star is very handily positioned these days at the bottom of Class Four. He has shown much better form than in the past and he will also appreciate racing from a light weight as there is not much to him.
He has caught the eye on a number of his most recent gallops and it was interesting to note that Begg took the trouble to work him pretty seriously last Sunday. When horses have a proper workout on a Sunday they are invariably worth a second glance come raceday as this tends to suggest their trainers want as few people as possible to be privy to this work. On a Sunday there are very few trackwatchers in attendance at Sha Tin. One who did go, and goes everyday, informed me that King Star went well and that appeared to be the case again yesterday morning as he came through 800 metres in an encouraging 53.6 seconds under Childs with his last quarter in 24.0. King Star should give a good account of himself in a tough race given this work, his recent form and his present mark. Faisca has probably struck an easier contest than King Star. He has been going pretty well since seeming to disappoint slightly last time out when sixth to Sea Jade, beaten 31/2 lengths.
Forget his run prior to that as the re-application of blinkers fired him up far too much, he refused to settle for Tony Cruz and ran himself into the ground. But the overall balance of Faisca's recent form is good. When he has been beaten, he has not been beaten very far, and he could well represent a spot of value in tomorrow's fifth event. Yesterday, he looked on very good terms with himself as Childs allowed him to slide home in 24.4 to complete a typical Moore 800-metre workout in 53.5. Childs also put Deerfield through his paces for Begg. Deerfield looks to have it to do in the inaugural running of the 2,400-metre Benson Cup in that he is up against such a potentially brilliant stayer as former AJC Derby fourth, Gazebo Star, and such a tough and genuine stayer, as Privilege. But one thing can be said in Deerfield's favour.
On the worktracks he is absolutely flying. He went in super smooth fashion yesterday to add to the favourable impression he created when working on the grass on Tuesday morning. The same can be said of Gazebo Star who completed a very similar 1,200-metre workout to Deerfield yesterday. There was also a solitary trial on the main all-weather surface. It was won by Stephen Leung's Irish import, Increase Speed, who looks to have a reasonable future in the territory ahead of him. Stablemate, Partner, ran second and he is one to note in coming low-grade handicaps as he went well last time after completing blowing the start. He jumped well enough yesterday for senior stable jockey, Kevin Manning. Trial result _ 1,150 metres 1, INCREASE SPEED (K. S. Yu); 2, Partner (K. Manning); 3, Assegai (M. Kinane). Others: Winged Foot, Pleasant Win, Chop-Chop, Hong Kong Warrior, Hankow Star, Flower Comrade. Time: 1.10.2 (24.1). Distances: 21/2 lengths, 1 length. Winner trained by Stephen Leung Sik-lun.