Best yet to come for Touchwood

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 September, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 September, 1996, 12:00am

THE luck that has come talented South African jockey Piere Strydom's way so far this season has mainly been bad.

He was twice checked on the Tony Cruz-trained newcomer Touchwood in yesterday's third event, won by Optic Fashion, otherwise his American import might well have prevailed. Both incidents in the final 200 metres or so were not Strydom's fault whatsoever. He had given Touchwood a typically patient ride and his mount had not spent any excess energy as Strydom started to bring him into a challenging position on the straight.

The gaps were there, or they seemed to be, because pressure on the outside closed them and Touchwood lost vital momentum. And just when he got going again, he was baulked and Strydom had to take evasive action. But there will almost certainly be another day for Touchwood who looks to be an astute purchase by Cruz who had not in any way pushed him for his debut in the territory. Touchwood was by no means fully wound up for this and should improve significantly for the outing. Flying Horse has always shown potential since his early work last season for trainer Stephen Leung. It has just taken time to bring him along and get him to a handicap mark from which he can win.

Yesterday he set a strong pace in the Class Five, 1,800-metre event, in which he did really well to battle on for second behind Each Own Way. Ricky Yiu has made a dramatic impact in his short time with a training licence, and looks to have a winner waiting to happen in Multi-Star who was noted charging to the line, having got out of his ground early on, in yesterday's opening 1,000-metre dash.

Watch out for him over farther.