Satisfaction guaranteed

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 September, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 September, 1996, 12:00am

Jockey Wendyll Woods has had a fairytale return to the territory and he may have even more reason to remember Satisfaction Plus after tonight's meeting at Happy Valley.

Satisfaction Plus gave Woods and his uncle and retaining trainer, Lawrie Fownes, the perfect start to the season by winning the first race of the new campaign.

Woods went on to rack up a first-day treble and has since added a double in a sensational start that he could never have expected.

And it could easily continue, courtesy of Satisfaction Plus who steps up to the unknown distance of 1,650 metres but is certainly fit enough for the task ahead.

Fownes is delighted with the success enjoyed by the stable and said: 'I suppose it is easy to say but we are a happy team and that is a big help. I was delighted straight away for Wendyll because we had to fight to get him here.

'The horses are all basically running well and he is riding with great confidence and that shows.

'There will be dips in the season but we could not have asked for a better start and I am confident that we will have our winners virtually right the way through.' Not surprisingly, Woods is over the moon at the way things have gone so far.

'It's almost unbelievable. But Lawrence and Caspar [assistant to the trainer] had these horses really ready for the job and that has made it a lot easier for me,' he said.

'When I was going for them, there was something there and they knuckled down and did the job. It has been the perfect start but we just have to keep working so that it can continue.' Satisfaction Plus was always handy in the season's opener and Woods forged through a gap about 150 metres out to take it up.

The veteran gelding responded admirably and won the straight dash very readily indeed.

It was the easiest race in which he had competed in a lengthy local career, much of it spent with Gary Ng Ting-keung.

The obvious question mark going into this Class Four, 1,650-metre test is the trip itself. Satisfaction Plus is unknown at it but has scored over 1,400 metres and there is no doubt that his fitness and the grade of the race were major plus factors in scoring so readily on the opening day.

But that early fitness, plus the run under his belt, clearly puts Satisfaction Plus at a distinct advantage against the majority of his rivals in this 12-runner event where the chances are really not that many.

Since his win, Satisfaction Plus has been seen a couple of times and came out of the race absolutely bouncing. He is in robust health and is likely to go about tonight's event with a real zest.

Given his natural pace, Satisfaction Plus, who ran well at the old Valley course, will be expected to be right up there and he is likely to whip readily round the corners of the city track.

Given that he has run out a strong winner over 1,400 metres, there must be confidence that he can tackle the extra distance here.

The Fownes-trained hopeful has also drawn handily in barrier four so Woods is going to get the run of the race - and that is very important from this tricky Valley start.

Sweet Win has a solid record over this trip at the Valley and came home very well in a recent Sha Tin trial on the dirt, solidly hinting at his well-being for this evening's event.

Sweet Win does race well off the pace but has rattled home on many occasions to be in the thick of things over this trip, and he can do so again tonight.

There are not that many others in the field who have worked well enough to have it over the selection if he does run out a strong mile.

Multi-Colours has done a fair bit of work and, in his most recent efforts, has caught the eye as one who is definitely coming to hand. But the gut feeling must be that he will probably be just in need of this run and that he will be a very dangerous proposition next time around.

However, Multi-Colours should not be discarded completely and where tierce bets are concerned, should be kept safe.

Zeus has also done some reasonable work recently and could be a contender for a minor place under claimer Raymond S. M. Tam.