Defending champ Marcus takes over on promising young recruit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 March, 1998, 12:00am

Trainer David Hayes produces a likely smart customer in Ovation in the second event at Sha Tin today and a number of factors suggest a worthwhile wager.

This is Ovation's second racetrack appearance and he certainly was not disgraced on his debut when finishing under four lengths to Sunny Graham on the Sha Tin all-weather surface.

That is a form line that virtually speaks for itself as the winner was merely demonstrating, over an unsuitable trip and track, that he was simply too good for Class Four.

Ovation, ridden by claimer Peter Y. S. Wong, was easy to back on his debut going off at 23-1 but was actually making ground in the home straight when striking interference.

It was a pleasing debut which spoke of better things to come and it is no surprise that champion jockey Basil Marcus has taken over on the youngster.

Ovation has also derived the expected benefit from his opening effort and has been pleasing in his most recent work, suggesting that Hayes has him plum right for this longer sprint in Class Four.

The trip, too, is going to be in his favour with the only negative factor the outside draw of 14, which does make life more difficult over this particular Sha Tin trip.

Although Ovation is a confident selection, the one worry in the field has to be Nanning Treasure, who reverts back to a shorter trip after being tried over what seemed a patently unsuitable mile at the Valley six weeks ago.

Prior to that, Nanning Treasure, at good odds, had made late ground over 1,000 metres to finish an eye-catching third to Treasure Island which is fair form for this.

There are sure to be odds about Nanning Treasure as he is ridden by unfashionable Raymond S. M. Tam but on the bare bones of his form to date - he was ridden for pace at the Valley over a mile - he is worth plenty of consideration.

Old-stager Chater Sovereign ran a reasonable race last time and over 1,200 metres in this company might find life slightly easier.

He is worth including in a tierce bet.

Hayes and Marcus could well have an early running double as Eastern Magnate is next up in the third event and on his recent efforts and trials is going to take some beating in Class Four.