Hill's mixed day a double dose
Trainer David Hill was left not knowing whether to cheer or curse after racing at Sha Tin yesterday. He was staring his first double of the season right in the eye when stable apprentice John M.C. Poon unleashed Allura Red (10-1) down the centre of the track in the rough-and-tumble fifth event on the card. Allura Red looked ready to claim victory in the local riders' Class Five longer sprint when he suddenly ducked out and headed for the outside rail with young Poon looking powerless in the saddle. The race went to topweight Bold Victory (15-1), giving champion trainer Ivan Allan another victory. The lightly raced three-year-old was handled by stable apprentice Peter Y.S. Wong.
It was the final episode in a bizarre race which saw Successful Smile (35-1) almost put through the fence and Wonderful (18-1) fall. Claimer Raymond S.M Tam was hurt in the spill and had to forego later engagements. Inexperienced claimer Angus C.M. Au was later suspended for three days for his part in the incident. Earlier, Hill and stable jockey Philip Robinson had combined to score an emphatic victory with freshly blinkered Manor Lord (5-1) in the Class Four third event on the nine-race card. 'It was a mixed-up sort of a day. I was very pleased and not surprised about Manor Lord but I did think Allura Red was a very good chance and I was certain he was going to win it at the top of the straight,' said Hill.
'Poon tried to straighten the horse and change his hands and he lost it. I thought he would have won and it would have been a very nice double. A bit frustrating but certainly Manor Lord did win well.' Manor Lord has gone close on a couple of occasions this season and gave nothing else a chance yesterday. He was well placed in the run by Robinson and surged through a split when it came in the straight to win with complete authority. Lekker (9-2 favourite) finished second and was a nostril in front of topweight Bounty Guard (12-1) who ran a top race first-up for trainer Cheung Ting-pong and Simon H.K. Yim. There are few racedays when Basil Marcus goes home without a winner and his came early in the proceedings yesterday when Ring The Cabin (15-1) again showed the benefit of the Tony Cruz style of training. A moderate performer before reaching Cruz at the start of this season, he has now won two and looked in good shape for this engagement. In a thrilling finish Ring The Cabin scored by the minium margin from Super Fellow (8-1) with the same distance back to 60-1 outsider Zeus, with Tam up.