Legrix ready to play big hand
LAWRENCE WADEY Racing Editor
Ace French jockey Eric Legrix looks to hold the key to the opening two events in tomorrow's Sha Tin Triple Trio.
Legrix, with big chances on Rising Star in the third and Hong Kong Supreme in the fourth for his retaining trainer Patrick Biancone, is riding better than ever and he is the first to point to his Hong Kong experience as the reason.
He said: 'Riding here for any period of time has got to make you sharper. Yes, that is the right word - sharper. The jockeys are so good. You are up against the best in the world from all over the world.
'We go fast from the gates and fast all the way whereas in France we just jump out and go slow, slow, slow and then quicken up at the end of the race.
'The tracks are quite tight compared to Europe where we have a lot of space in the race.
'So riding here makes you sharp and I'm enjoying the competition. I know myself that I have improved because of riding here for the last couple of seasons and I enjoy it very much. I certainly want to stay.' Legrix looks a significant replacement for local rider Rambo Tse on Rising Star in the third which opens the Triple Trio.
Punters have to find the first three in any order in races three, four and six, and basically that requires finding bankers - horses that will run into the first three - as it cuts down the numbers of bets. With a minimum unit stake of $5 that is a very important consideration and even more so tomorrow with no pot of gold to chase after as there is no jackpot carried forward.
Rising Star is very much on the upgrade for his trainer, first-season local handler Andy Leung, and has been noted staying on well on each of his past two starts. He hasn't had any luck on either of them and now looks ready in his work to run into the placings.
The more obvious form horses in the race are the likes of Highland Laddie and Gagne Vite though Highland Laddie did benefit from a leaders' track last time.
Hong Kong Supreme has improved out of all recognition for Biancone this season, notably since the perspicacious Frenchman opted for the old one-eyed blinker trick.
He runs Hong Kong Supreme in blinkers with one cowl and this stops him getting frightened of horses coming to challenge him and he just gallops on relentless to the line.
His was a huge win last time as he disputed the lead with the speedy Tiger's Spirit and still charged away for a very impressive win.
But Hong Kong Supreme is likely to be sorely tested by the improving Kenzig who represents the old firm of David Hayes and Damien Oliver who plundered most of the big races together in Australia.
This is going to be a really interesting race as one of the pleasures, in addition to trying to solve the Triple Trio puzzle, will be to watch Oliver on a really good horse. Make no mistake, Kenzig is good and he is improving all the time.
He should run into the placings at worst though he may need 1,400 metres or even a mile to show his full potential. It is probably not premature to talk about him as a Derby candidate for next season.
Supreme Goliath is a top sprinter but he will find it tough under 142 pounds in handicap company.
He is racing from a mark fully 18 pounds higher than when last successful and is eight pounds worse off with Hong Kong Supreme compared to when they last met.
Bold Saxon has been working well for his new trainer, Ivan Allan, in readiness for the sixth event in which it could pay to include King's Glamour who was very wide all the way at the Valley last time over 1,000 metres and will be suited by the move up to 1,400 metres.
Glorious Decade has progressed noticeably in his work and is another who will benefit from a step up to 1,400 metres.
There was certainly no joy for the only directly owned Hong Kong horse to race at the Cheltenham Festival this week. Monicasman ran out at the first fence in the Sun Alliance Novices Hurdle meaning a very wasted journey for his owner Ambrose Turnbull.