Stay Faithful to Allan's youngster

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 December, 1998, 12:00am

Only one more Triple Trio day before Christmas and the world's most popular bet appears eminently gettable.

It is somewhat ironic in the light of developments this week that the feature event, and the middle leg to the TT, is the Police Cup. Maybe next season the ICAC will be a sponsor.

The Ivan Allan-trained Faithful Assurance looks an outstanding banker in this Class Three, 1,400-metre contest.

He shaped extremely well as a griffin, badly needed the run first time out this season - a run which is best forgotten - but was noted staying on strongly last time out when ridden by an inexperienced claimer who has yet to find his feet come raceday.

Since then Faithful Assurance has appeared to progress well in the mornings and stable jockey and top-class rider Douglas Whyte now takes over.

Whyte, like his contemporary and adversary Eric Saint-Martin, and like the daddy of them all, the great Tony Cruz from yesteryear, shows time and again that you don't have to bash them to win on them.

As for Allan, well what more can you say that hasn't already been written? From setting one like Indigenous to triumph in the International Vase, to winning with the likes of Citihunter or Handbag's Honour on debut at the Valley, he's as good as they get.

Interstar should go well at big odds and could even give Faithful Assurance a tough run for his money.

The Ricky Yiu-trained galloper has taken time to come to himself this season but he ran a cracker from a bad draw down the straight 1,000-metre chute and was a progressive type last season. He should relish this 1,400-metre trip.

Hong Kong Legend has plenty of ability but is a difficult ride at the best of times. Part of his bit flipped forward last time when he was all the rage at the Valley but he still looked somewhat reluctant.

Regular Win simply bolted home last time out over a mile at Happy Valley.

The drop back in distance from a mile isn't going to help but at least he's drawn outside and that should allow the genius jockey Gary Stevens to keep him out of trouble and produce him with a tellingly late run into the TT placings.

Lord Ron is racing really well while Good Spirit can improve back at Sha Tin.

Allan's Air Force One showed improved form when just touched off in Class Five last time, appears to have gone on with it since at trackwork and, along with Chief's Fortune, is considered banker material in the third event which opens the TT.

Because he is back up to Class Four, Air Force One may be overlooked to a degree by the general public and could jump at a spot of value.

His work since his second placing suggests he is more than up to this grade.

Chief's Fortune put in a big run at the Valley last time and is very much an improving type.

Prior to that he'd put in an enormously eye-catching run at Sha Tin.

Heart To Heart has strong form claims and appeals as a well-handicapped type.

Gallant Blossom is another leading form contender and watch out for Expedient.

He could well be much better than his last place debut run indicates.

Strategic Move is rated the best banker in the sixth which concludes the TT.

He might well have won at the Valley last time but for being buffeted shortly before the turn into the final bend.

Darley won with a leg in the air last time and should go well again.