Win-Etic has class to burn
Win-Etic can maintain South African jockey Piere Strydom's winning momentum as well as underlining local trainer Alex Wong Yu-on's ability to unearth a decent griffin by winning this afternoon's opening event at Sha Tin. Today's rather mundane card is unlikely to see the stands as packed as they were last weekend, but hopefully this is just a lull before they come teeming in for next week's eagerly awaited Derby. But there are some interesting griffins on view for which it is probably advisable to take a stroll to the paddock some 20 minutes before off-time to check on their condition. Such a paddock inspection should reveal the Canadian bred Win-Etic to be a decent type. His work and his trials certainly suggest that and Wong has a decent record when it comes to griffin finds. Over the past few seasons he has introduced the likes of Deerfield, Winning Chance, Supreme Monarch and last season there was the dual griffin winner, All The Glory.
And Win-Etic should relish every bit of this 1,400-metre trip which is the first time the griffins have stepped out beyond 1,200 metres this season. While Canadian bred, Win-Etic's sire, Tralos, was a Group winner in England and is a son of the English Derby winner, Roberto, on whom Lester Piggott was seen to such brilliant effect. Tralos himself won from 1,200 to 2,400 metres, including the Cumberland Lodge Stakes, which is a Group Three event over 2,400 metres. So Win-Etic should stay on breeding and his work and his trials support that view.
The first thing that was noticeable with him was that from early November he was showing good natural speed. That is a prerequisite in the search for griffin winners. His first trial on January wasn't quite up to his early mark as he had to be hard ridden early on before making ground, but that trial then brought him on considerably. It really sharpened him up and last Tuesday he put in a most encouraging trial effort down the straight 1,000-metre chute against some much more experienced handicappers.
He showed more than enough speed that day and then kept on very strongly to the line under Strydom.
Patrick Biancone's griffin winner, Brilliant Star, will clearly take plenty of beating but he does have a seven-pound penalty to defy. Brilliant Star is probably the main quinella leg to take with Win-Etic, but there are also a couple of others to note. John Moore's Master Magic should improve for his debut run. He trialled well last week and is worth respecting while there is improvement in Brian Kan's Light Print.