Omens point to Port Hope improving on griffin year

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 January, 1997, 12:00am

A BIG session at the track yesterday morning for the Lawrie Fownes' team with the winning griffin Port Hope going well enough to suggest he's worth one more chance.

A good judge was only saying at the end of this week that when Port Hope's sire, Grosvenor, gets a decent two-year-old they invariably train on.

Port Hope won well as a two-year-old for Fownes and Lance O'Sullivan last season, though on rain-softened ground, but has proved disappointing so far this term.

But he remains a decent type and yesterday's work indicated that all may not be lost for his connections.

Fownes sent Port Hope out to work with Picador who can go along a bit in the mornings and, as such, is usually a good guide. They didn't hang around and there was only one horse to follow from this as Port Hope pulled some three lengths clear at the end of a solid hitout. He's still only a young three-year-old and could come into his own still later in the season, especially if encountering a wet track and a staying trip. It is legend by now that when Fownes takes over a horse from another stable that horse is well worth paying close attention to.

He is now in charge of the low-grade veteran handicapper Entrepreneur and while he didn't appear to go quite as well as stablemate, Lynx, who is himself returning from a spell, it was a gallop which pointed to at least a degree of improvement from Entrepreneur. Fownes also seems to be working the oracle with Trademark who ran much better last time when third to Toy Symphony.

Yesterday Trademark pulled away from Metro Express and is well worth keeping safe in quinellas at least when next seen out. David Hayes' camp continues to march on its merry way.

Yesterday the Hayes-trained Dance Control appeared to have the measure of Wonderful Winners in a decent piece while Tony Cruz appears to have Deauville going nicely since taking him over from Patrick Biancone.