Younger Marcus earns praise for quickfire double
By ROBIN PARKE
MARCUS hit the headlines with a double - but this time it was Anton. Yes, champion Basil's younger brother stole the Sha Tin show yesterday with an early, back-to-back double that brought him deserved plaudits.
It has not been easy for Anton since he took over from Felix Coetzee as stable jockey to Brian Kan Ping-chee, but he has given some good displays and has quite clearly settled into the Hong Kong scene.
Top Spy (5-2 favourite) was the offer that every jockey wishes for and Marcus made short work of the first event on this ultra-smart David Hayes-trained griffin.
Top Spy and Sunrisespectacular (4-1) were involved in a see-sawing struggle for favouritism before the Hayes' horse dropped late in betting under sustained support.
The only other one in the market was No Competitor (9-2) who, rather unhappily for his supporters, tended to live up to his name and finished a very tame eighth. As expected, the 1,200-metre event turned into a race between the two most fancied by the public and there was no doubting the authority of Top Spy's win.
He jumped in front, but was pressured on straightening by the Douglas Whyte-ridden Sunrisespectacular. Marcus simply shook the winner up and he smoothly put two lengths into Sunrisespectacular and held the advantage easily in the run home.
Heart Of Show (9-1) finished third under Wendyll Woods, but Gagne Ensemble (9-1) did little and finished sixth.
Marcus gave an excellent display on Good Connection (8-1) who came home stoutly to win the Class Four, 1,600-metre second event on the card.
Although the official going was good, horses were able to get their toe in and this suited the Kan-trained winner to perfection. He was tucked away just off the pace by Marcus, who also had him travelling very well, and there was no doubt that Good Connection was enjoying the outing.
Favourite Golden Jerrang (4-1), who is not a genuine type, was on the pace but found little when it mattered and Marcus, timing the run well, brought Good Connection through the centre and within strides it was all over.
Shining Winner (9-2) ran a typically honest race for second, but the mile is just as far as he wants to go and he had no answer when Good Connection swept past.
Topweight Aim On Kris (9-1) finished third under Basil Marcus, coming home too strongly for a rather disappointing In The Picture (5-1) who did not really follow up on his last good run.
Walk Big (25-1) with Eric Legrix aboard rather than an apprentice, put in a better run for fifth and is worth following.