Happy times ahead for Yiu supporters
Mr Happy is set to put a smile on punters' and connections' faces given the way he stormed into fourth in the third of six trials run down Sha Tin's straight 1,000-metre chute yesterday.
The Ricky Yiu-trained son of Diesis looks an almost certain future winner as he's only been lightly raced and has shown promise on two of his three starts this campaign, having also gone into the notebook as a griffin.
Yesterday's trial effort, on the back of a particularly good run at Happy Valley last time, indicates he's going the right way and is one to keep firmly in mind when he's next seen out.
At the Valley last time he did well to run fourth to Regular Win over a mile as it was one of those occasions when it was hard to make ground.
This time it wasn't so much the track bias as the tempo which was pretty sedate. What's more Mr Happy also met interference in running and was ridden by the now sidelined local jockey S. M. Tam.
When stable jockey, the excellent Steven King, jumps on board that should be worth a length or two as well.
Indeed, some observers yesterday thought King was a bit surprised at how much Mr Happy found when he was asked to make some ground in his trial. He'd been nearer last early on in this heat but fairly charged to the line once King let out the barest minimum of rein.
Gold Winner, from the Chris Cheung stable, won this third trial. He made all and has bundles of speed. He's better than he showed on debut at the Valley when he became very unbalanced after being tightened for room on the top bend in the race won by Naturally Money.
King, who does much of the riding for Bruce Hutchison, brought home the white-haired mentor's Red Zone (above) a creditable winner of the opening heat.
Red Zone scored by three quarters of a length from the Tony Cruz-trained Medic Pearl whose last run at the Valley is best forgotten - but don't be fooled by the stipes' report into thinking he hung that night. He didn't. He was just ridden out wide during a meeting when it was the inside, not the outside, that was the place to be.
Red Zone should strip fitter when he's next seen out while John Moore's Great Power, a good debut winner under Alan Munro, ran home a solid third and looks to have further improvement in him.
There was also a much better effort from Peter Ho's Class One-rated Irish import Aislo in this heat.
Patrick Biancone's De Integro took heat five. He's showing more dash these days and can win when stepped up in distance.
Lawrie Fownes' Big Treasure chased him home and is better than he showed at Sha Tin last time while keep an eye on David Hill's griffin, Sir Timah, who was a pleasing fourth to De Integro.
Andy Leung should be able to find a race for his Hollywood Star who took the final trial in which Biancone's Win Star ran second and is another of the French maestro's team that can win when upped in distance.