Aussie's Handover keeps spirits high
These are heady days for long-serving Australian trainer Bruce Hutchison for whom the champagne flowed freely after last Wednesday night's Valley double.
And the way his team trialled down the 1,000-metre chute at Sha Tin yesterday, the white-haired mentor could be entering jeroboam country.
Hutchison's Handover, who created a good impression as a griffin last term, was the first to go into the notebook despite running ninth of 11 in the first heat.
Handover was surrounded by Class One and Two gallopers and appeared to be looked after in the run by Grant Cooksley.
Handover had looked pretty trim and ready to go well on his initial outings in his trackwork prior to this trial which served to underline these impressions.
The David Hayes-trained Muchea ran fourth to Alf in this opening trial, having been held up at the rear for much of the way.
He made fair ground but then so he should have at the ratings as he's rated 107 in Class One. Muchea's work prior to this had been nothing special so it was good to see him pick up when asked.
Hutchison's Antonhill Boom then kept on well enough under Mick Kinane in the second heat.
It was the irrepressible Irish ace who partnered Dancing Surpass and The Best Winner to victory for Hutchison last Wednesday night so it is probably significant that he was on board Antonhill Boom, who flew home under Kieren Fallon last time. That run marked Antonhill Boom down as an almost certain future winner in Class Five, as did yesterday's trial.
However, the best effort in this second heat came from Ricky Yiu's useful recent winner Dull Lead on whom Steven King went to the line with a double handful. Dull Lead is clearly going the right way, beat a bright prospect in New Asians last time and is well worth following next time out.
Australian jockey Chris Munce brought home Peter Ho's Sai Kung Prestige a seemingly improved winner of the third heat.
Sai Kung Prestige has only poor form to his name in three career starts but his trackwork is a whole lot better suggesting the best has yet to be seen of him. Back down the field, David Hill's emphatic last-start winner, Don Sebastian went strongly and is another with more wins in him.
Kinane and Hutchison teamed up for Brilliant Leader who put in a solid fourth in the fourth heat.
Wong Tang-ping's Floral Joy won the fifth heat and is much better than he showed first up when found out by the Valley's tricky 1,200-metre trip.