Oughton's Kid puts writing on the wall
Smart Kid should be kept safe in Sunday's feature event, the Hongkong Telecom Cup.
Trainer David Oughton (right) sent him though a brisk 1,200 metres yesterday morning under retained rider Alan Munro.
Smart Kid clocked 1:18.7 coming home in a pleasing 23.6 seconds.
He's taken time to find his form this season, having been a fast starter in previous campaigns when briefly with David Hayes and then with Alex Wong Siu-tan for the majority of his career.
But he put the writing on the wall last time out when a luckless second to Sweetheart, having been badly inconvenienced at the start when Aipoder sprawled on leaving the barriers and gave him a hefty whack.
Munro was then forced to switch out and around them coming off the final bend to get a clear run and that might have cost Smart Kid half a length.
As it was, Smart Kid probably wouldn't have beaten Sweetheart, who was a decisive and improved winner.
But he would have run him a lot closer and appears one of the main chances in this quality Class One affair.
The structure of the race entirely depends on whether last season's Derby winner, Johan Cruyff, takes his place.
He heads the weights on 137 pounds and if he starts there will only be a maximum of five horses in the handicap proper.
Johan Cruyff was another to work strongly yesterday morning, coming through his 1,200 metres in 1:19.5 under Freddie Sanchez.
Patrick Biancone's stable star seems to be going well and to have come on for his first run back since that tremendous second to Midnight Bet in the International Cup followed by an abortive spell in quarantine.
From other work yesterday, a number of newcomers are worth noting down, not just for Sunday's meeting but also for the rest of the season and even beyond.
Top of the list, on her work at least, must be the Ivan Allan-trained filly Crystal Charm - especially now that the powerful Allan arsenal is beginning to fire.
She is entered to run in the Class Two sprint down the 1,000-metre chute and looks well indeed from a rating of 75.
She did nothing more than the lightest of exercise yesterday morning but has been impressing in all her strong work and when trialling.
She looks to have plenty of scope about her and managed to place twice in Listed company on her only two starts as a two-year-old when trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam in England.
Able Mr Jif doesn't have the same brilliance about him as Crystal Charm but the indications from his work are that John Moore has a more than useful addition to his yard.
Able Mr Jif is due to contest the Class Two 1,400-metre handicap on Sunday and the way he's been shaping, including yesterday's 1,200-metre effort in 1:19.5 under Robbie Fradd, he looks to have a definite future.