Wong team throw out more hints
By Racing Editor LAWRENCE WADEY
ALEX Wong Siu-tan and Nigel Tiley dominated trackwork for the second time this week at Sha Tin yesterday.
The pair have their team in great form with Valiant Lancer adding to the recent wins of Lucky Century, Jacko and Aquarius, at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
There is nothing like following a stable in form and yesterday two of the winners - Lucky Century and Aquarius - appeared to be in fine fettle.
Lucky Century, his distinctive white blaze cutting through the early-morning haze, went well in his piece with stablemate Filipachi.
They were not asked to run a quick time as Lucky Century had a solid hit-out earlier in the week and has had plenty of work since beating Aashiq a fortnight ago.
Most progeny of the south hemisphere stallion Century have a delicate constitution and need to be kept fresh to show their best.
But not Lucky Century. He flopped at short prices earlier in the season because Alex Wong and Tiley tried to keep him fresh.
As soon as they increased the tempo, his form improved dramatically, as he showed when beating Local Colour at Sha Tin.
It is often a sign of a good horse when they thrive on plenty of work and Lucky Century's potential has yet to be fully tapped.
Filipachi disappointed on his reappearance behind Asawa Dee in a mile event at Sha Tin. But it was discovered he ran in work rather than racing shoes. It is understood this was as much to do with the farrier as it was with his trainer.
He can be placed to advantage over distances up to 2,000 metres and, as he settles later in the season, may even stay farther.
Aquarius looked in good nick as he worked with Heza Star, the pair clocking a pleasing 23.3 seconds for their final 400 metres.
Heza Star has an entry in a weak-looking equitrack sprint coming up and could be worth an interest.
Octagon Star has been off the course since failing to win at Class Two when a creditable seventh to Happy Money over 1,200 metres at Sha Tin on October 17.
He is another to have been given plenty of work and he completed his 1,200 metres yesterday in an encouraging one minute 18.3.
With the exception of River Verdon, no recruit from the griffin ranks has won at the first attempt at Class Two. On this basis alone, never mind his trackwork, Octagon Star is worth another chance.
Alex Wong Yu-on's debutant Tea Break was an expensive failure when he could not make all the running over the Valley's surprisingly testing 1,235-metre course, weakening inside the final 200 metres to finish third to Jacko.
Lack of hard racing condition seemed to find him out. They often go flat out from the barrier to the line over this distance at Happy Valley, whereas in the 1,200-metre sprints at Sha Tin they have a breather round the bend.
The run seems to have brought on Tea Break in condition and he looked well in himself yesterday as he ran home in an easy 24.2 for his last quarter.