Gallant Blossom promises to be the pick of field
TONY HARBIDGE (Topspeed)
It's difficult to get excited about last week's winning action. Midweek racing on the sand is always of limited value for the future, while Saturday's meeting on the turf at Sha Tin failed to throw up any noteworthy winning times and was dominated by a profound track bias.
The trend for the afternoon was set in the very first race with Lucky Ahead winning the Wo Che Handicap for griffins over 1,400 metres.
Plenty-Plenty followed suit in the second heat and from the first five races, only Go Go Win in section two of the Lek Yuen Handicap failed to earn the made-all tag. However, he was just edged out as pacesetter by eventual runner-up Delightful Special.
From the nine-race card, Strategic Move holds the honour of coming from furthest back to win having gained a seventh place call through the early stages.
In the circumstances we should be looking past the winners and noting closers in races with solid overall times.
The first race to look at is the third.
Go Go Win came out on top with a solid Topspeed rating of 50. That rates a three-point improvement on his previous best and Delightful Special also progressed on his previous efforts to record a speed figure of 56.
But the one that should pay best dividends in the future is third-placed Gallant Blossom. Earning a rating of 43 is nothing special, but this promising three-year-old was having only his second start (clocked 45 on debut), was thought likely to need the run and came through with an eye-catching move from the back of the field after a slow start and being checked by the last-placed newcomer Golden Choice.
In short, Gallant Blossom is a winner waiting to happen, especially when stepped up in trip.
The next race, the second section of the Lek Yuen Handicap over 1,400 metres, threw up an equally obvious contender for future honours.
The consistent Electronic Dragon was the pillar-to-post winner. However, although recording an acceptable time for this Class Four contest, his speed figure falls well below his best of 49 and again it is the runner-up we need to concentrate on.
Super Star (46) made his move from 10th position in the 14-runner field and, stopped in his run in the straight, was unlucky to go down by the minimum margin. Only lightly raced, Saturday's favourite had clocked a rating of 52 on his previous start and his supporters will be recouping losses soon.
Money Come-In is a less obvious one to follow. With 12 runs under his belt this season, he is admittedly a pretty exposed individual but his consistency makes him one to keep safe at least in quinellas and tierces when returned to farther.
The lightly-raced Dynamic Star was having only his third start. He too came with a strong run after failing to go the early pace and is crying out for a mile. He will win races.