Newcomer a real blessing

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 April, 1999, 12:00am

It is not an easy task for a horse to win first-up in Hong Kong and as such the effort of Able Mr Jif to get the money was full of merit in yesterday's fourth event over 1,400 metres.

However, it was another debutant in the shape of Thank Heavens (27-1), who went firmly down as one to follow after his impressive fifth in the same race.

The David Oughton-trained three-year-old was unwanted in the market but showed good early dash to be vying for the lead with pacemaker King Confident to the home turn.

He went up to challenge for the lead soon after straightening, but he was quickly taken on and headed by the winner, who never looked back.

At that stage, Thank Heavens looked likely to hold down the quinella position but his condition told in the last 50 metres and the lack of hard racing saw him weaken out of contention to finish just behind the placegetters.

His overseas form shows he has plenty of ability - he has won over this distance at Ayr - and when he gets used to the conditions here he will be hard to beat.

He will come on in leaps and bounds from yesterday's outing and Oughton should be able to find a race for him in the closing weeks of the season.TLP MARK YOUR CARD


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Newcomer a real blessing

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