Democrat worth supporting in comeback
JOHN Moore's problem horse Democrat looks primed for a bold first-time-out display at Happy Valley tomorrow night despite his protracted absence from racing.
Democrat has been sidelined from the sports proper for over a year due to knee problems. Indeed, his career was in serious doubt at one stage.
Against this background he is a risky win bet in the fifth tomorrow night but the way he has been working suggests he must be kept safe in quinella and tierce wagers. And it is so often the case that horses with dodgy legs run best when fresh.
Yesterday Democrat worked from the barriers with stablemates Aristocrat and Django. He simply left them standing in the closing stages of the work down the back straight, pulling well clear and looking most fluent in the process.
This was the third consecutive impressive workout from Democrat who looked one of the territory's most promising sorts until encountering those training problems last season.
There was also good sprint work from Peter Ng Bik-kuen's Orchestra in readiness for the opening event.
Orchestra put in just about the most eye-catching run imaginable over 1,030 metres on the equitrack last time when surprisingly ridden from behind. He was flying at the finish and now has the considerable services of Tony Cruz on his back.
They will almost certainly try to make all in the opener but will face a stiff challenge from Ivan Allan's Allocate who was most unlucky last time when stumbling at the start, losing several lengths and then only going down by a head to King's Flair.
Brent Thomson's mount, Win Again, has also been working really well for this first race but then he has worked well without winning for the best part of two seasons.
Second race preparations saw an outstanding jump out from the barriers yesterday morning from David Oughton's Love Not War. He went better than he's gone all season, travelling with more zip than for a long while. This was borne out in the time as he clocked a useful 22.9 seconds for his 400-metre mid-section.
Love Not War will relish the move to a mile and goes well round the Valley bends. He is very well handicapped on his best form and Oughton's yard looked to be emerging from a 'flu-enforced spell in the doldrums when responsible for a double on Wednesday night.
The first division of the Class Five mile handicap saw a pleasing piece from David Hill's young recruit, Snowmass. He didn't run time or anything like that - Hill's horses rarely do but it doesn't stop them winning.
It was the manner of his work as he completed a steady double round of the main equitrack under the in-form and determined defending champion jockey Basil Marcus which impressed. Snowmass looked fit, well and eager to go out and run tomorrow night. He is another who has been crying out for the move to a mile.