Heart can beat Strong for Munce

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 April, 1999, 12:00am

Take evens or better about Strongheart in the opening griffin event on this evening's Sha Tin card.

That would be a value price about the John Moore-trained grey who looks one of the few outstanding win wagers on what could be a tricky night.

A number of the races can probably be reduced to three, four or five main chances and are worth attacking through the quinella pool but from a win viewpoint, decent opportunities could be thin on ground. Strongheart has some of the best griffin form seen so far this season. He ran a cracking race on debut when third to stablemate No Collateral and Win Perfection over 1,200 metres. Strongheart has followed that with a creditable and close third to another stablemate, Real Good, over tonight's 1,400 metre trip.

On that occasion he had Ivan Allan's Oriental Treasure some 5.25 lengths back in fourth and should be able to confirm the form under the visiting Australian jockey Chris Munce.

The Melbourne Cup-winning rider will be ultra keen to boot home a winner as the Club Jockeys are finding pickings to be thin on the ground.

Munce should get the run of the race from barrier five as Strongheart has the speed to be able to jump straight to the front and make every post a winning one, if he wants to.

So often to lead, or at least to race on the speed in these griffin contests, is the place to be.

Besides Oriental Treasure, Strongheart may have most to fear from Ricky Yiu Poon-fie's newcomer, Fortune Sallian, who has worked well and looks fit and forward enough to provide some kind of test for Strongheart.

Me And You is fitter and could go close, too. The worry with him is whether he will see out a truly run 1,400 metres.

Elsewhere, Mighty Spirit, Snip Pour Roi, Rising Glory and Merry Maple could dominate the third event.

Mighty Spirit ran well last time, has been working most fluently and has the blinkers back on.

Snip Pour Roi is very competitive in this grade and should have gone close in a harder race than this last time. Rising Glory is also suited by Class Five and has been racing well without getting his head in front for some time. Merry Maple is better over farther but appears to have thrived since moving to Brian Kan and should be at big odds with the unfashionable claimer Carol Yu on board.

The topweights, Markgraf, Smartlord and Celestial Chief, should take some catching in the fourth.

Markgraf is suited by Class Three. His last run can be forgotten as he was trapped off the track.

Smartlord is racing consistently well and comes into this event off the back of a strong trial performance.

Celestial Chief should relish the return to Sha Tin's 1,400 metres having been unsuited by the Valley's 1,200 metres last time out.

Form horses Kowloon Jazz, Good Message and Speed Cat should go well in the sixth but watch out for an improved effort from Shaxi Treasure who seems to have thrived since joining the in-form Francis Lui for whom he makes his debut.