Piggott-Allan look winning combination
By ROBIN PARKE
TWO strong Classes One and Two events make up the Double Trio at Sha Tin tomorrow and the formidable partnership of Lester Piggott and trainer Ivan Allan holds the key to the first leg of the popular investment.
Allan's team is not only expanding but also delivering the goods in fairly regular and sometimes spectacular fashion - as was almost the case with Grand Warrior at his last outing. Grand Warrior was at huge odds, when taking on a field similar to the one he faces tomorrow, on With a reasonable galloping weight for a Class One horse in this combined field he can make his presence felt. Piggott rode Tom's Charge for Patrick Biancone in the Derby and the French trainer backs up his Classic second string six days later.
He ran fairly in the Derby without getting anyone overly excited and this is a slightly easier proposition. It may pay to consider him for this one particularly as, strictly on form, he is very close to Grand Warrior.
In the February 20 race he charged home with Grand Warrior to finish third, looking in need of more ground. He is a pound better off and, on the book, could turn the tables. The Geoff Lane stable has been in good form for some time, landing some juicy winners and having the pleasure of seeing most of the horses run well.
Another win looks on the cards in the second leg of the DT when exciting Clever Witness steps out in the first division of the Sports Club Handicap.
Clever Witness ran a super race at his debut on February 7 when third to useful Super Fit and fast-finishing Owners Dream.
The New Zealand import looked beaten by the draw that day, having been forced to race wide out for much of the 1,200-metre trip, and his condition may have given out in the last 100 metres. Clever Witness actually came to win the race but weakened crucially close to home. It was nothing in the horse's character, merely condition, and he is another who should be better placed over the longer trip tomorrow.
But this is a hot race and Clever Witness is suggested as the banker, particularly as he deserves to be at reasonable odds. Topweight Maraheb has a plenty of class about him and should be ready to show his best over a trip that now looks his best. He should be included. Darren Gauci is riding in top form, Lawrie Fownes is turning them out in mint condition - and Innovation is no slouch. All of which adds up to including him in DT calculations along with the John Moore-trained Appreciation.