Mount bullies rivals in high-class trial
Griffin star Victory Mount yesterday underlined his Derby credentials with a superb barrier trial display at Sha Tin.
The John Moore-trained Sha Tin Vase winner, needing to pull something out of the hat after Smashing Pumpkin's brilliant Sha Tin Trophy victory over the weekend which stamped him as probably the leading Derby contender, could hardly have been more impressive as he swept home under Patrick Payne.
There were plenty of quality performers pitched in against him but they were no match as he cruised to victory, showing emphatically that he has trained on from his griffin year.
Taurus, another very useful griffin performer from last season, went smoothly just behind Victory Mount as did Victory Mount's own stablemate, Pinky Long Legs who is looking much more forward than most of his trainer's string and is just the type to race well first time out.
This last heat of six trials run down the straight 1,000-metre chute yesterday morning also saw a much more promising display from Geoff Lane's New Zealand winner, River Dance, who looks to have a future.
Running through the trials, the Andy Leung-trained All My Love looked to be the one to follow from the first heat.
All My Love has always been a star worker but is well worth another chance after a somewhat disappointing show against an ordinary Class Four field first time out at Happy Valley.
As jockey Richard Hughes pointed out immediately after the race that night, he's only just three years old and he was taking on and giving weight away to older horses in that contest.
Yesterday All My Love was always going well for Hughes.
The best efforts in the second trial came from two lovely types, David Hayes' very decent griffin from last season, Topspin, and the David Hill-trained Irish import Supreme Bases.
SHA TIN TURF TRIALS First trial _ 1,000m: 1, PROFESSIONAL (S. M. Tam); 2, All My Love (R. Hughes); 3, Flying Horse (P. Payne). Others (in finishing order): Patrician, The Conqueror, Planet II, Five Stars Shining, Charlie's Angel, Sir Lancelot, Shine Of Kowloon, Song D'Or. Time: 0:59.3 (23.0). Distances: 3 lengths, 1.25 lengths. Winner trained by Ricky Yiu.
Second trial _ 1,000m: 1, SUPER BOMB (B. Doyle); 2, Deauville (D. Whyte); 3, Sumotori (C. K. Tsang). Others: Topspin, Musical Insight, Supreme Bases, Fireball, Touchwood, Winning Team, On Fire, City Patrol. Time: 0:59.7 (23.7). Distances: short head, 1.5 lengths. Winner trained by John Moore.
Third trial _ 1,000m: 1, UNIVERSAL BOSS (P. W. Kong); 2, Shining Winner (D. Harrison); 3, Toy General (P. Payne). Others: Quick Speed, Rangeela, Winning Years, Amza Darling, Palette Treasure, Cheers Again, Golden Phoenix, Hero's Choice, A Strength. Time: 1:00.6 (24.1). Distances: length, neck. Winner trained by Wong Yu-on.
Fourth trial _ 1,000m: 1, SWIFT (B. Doyle); 2, Dancing Win (P. Payne); 3, Devotee (R. Fradd). Others: Regent's Star, Marquee Universal, Real Happy, Can-Can, Spring Of Windsor, Electric Power, Keep On Going, Cotton Tree, Sun's Treasure. Time: 1:00.2 (23.9). Distances: head, 1.25 lengths. Winner trained by Chris Cheung Ting-pong.
Fifth trial _ 1,000m: 1, MIGHTY SPIRIT (R. Fradd); 2, Pakistan Hero (K. H. Ting); 3, Flowers Treasure (D. Whyte). Others: Port Hope, Roaring Star, Telecom Boss, Hung Hing Tai, Midas King, All-Winners, Popular Acclaim, Top Win, Bold Victory. Time: 1:00.0 (23.7). Distances: head, head. Winner trained by Ricky Yiu.
Sixth trial _ 1,000m: 1, VICTORY MOUNT (P. Payne); 2, Taurus (W. Woods); 3, Pinky Long Legs (B. Doyle). Others: River Dance, Sugarloaf, Success Partners, Speed Win, Quick Action, Ball Ball-San, Ready, Champion Mascot. Time: 0:59.8 (23.8). Distances: 1.5 lengths, neck. Winner trained by John Moore.