PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 November, 1998, 12:00am

There's Good News for punters at this afternoon's Sha Tin meeting - and he's in the first event.

The David Hayes-trained gelding of that name won't be a particularly big price but anything better than 2-1 should be snapped up as he looks to have outstanding form claims.

The son of Marscay shaped nicely prior to his griffin debut when he was noted running on strongly over an inadequate trip and this season he's been working the track down.

On the strength of that excellent work he was backed into 2.4-1 to make a winning debut only to be checked out of the race in the infamous incident which led to the ill-considered disqualification of Heading To Win.

Good News has run once since, showing that the original money for him was pretty near the mark when rallying bravely to run a short-head second to the potentially useful Fortune Dancer with another progressive type, Dolbridge, close-up in third.

The fourth horse, Brilliant Leader, has seemingly let the form down by being beaten since, but that defeat came on his debut at Happy Valley and more pertinent is that the sixth, Koh-I-Noor won that race at the Valley in which Brilliant Leader was beaten.

Gold Flask, who ran ninth to Fortune Dancer, has also run well since.

So the form looks solid enough and on top of that Goods News ran even better than the bare result suggests last time as he was fighting back on the line as he started to find out what racing off the bit was all about.

That run came over 1,400 metres, the same trip as today's, and he should be that much sharper for the experience. He is also drawn to take all the beating.

Good News jumps from barrier one and given the gate speed he showed last time he should be able to jump and either lead or get the perfect trail into the race should something like Startrice want to go forward and lead.

Startrice, an experienced handicapper with a good record around the Sha Tin 1,400 metres, is probably one of the main quinella chances. He appears to have bounced back from the bleeding attack which ruined his campaign last season and has been racing well this term.

The Patrick Biancone-trained People's Choice is another to note, having caught the eye at Happy Valley last time and in his work since.

He's a potential improver though it is possible that this is still a race too soon.

With him much depends on the price. If he's at good odds then he is well worth putting in as a leg in a quinella and a tierce with Good News and Startrice.

Always Match may be best of the others. There is just a hint from his trackwork that he could be about to show some of the form which saw him run placed from a considerably higher rating last season.

Elsewhere on the card, the David Oughton-trained Botany Bay looks another serious betting opportunity.

He's in an uncompetitive-looking fourth event and, like Good News, he has plenty of natural early speed and should get the run of the race from barrier two.