Collect close for Kam acquisition
By LAWRENCE WADEY
IT'S much quieter at the track these days with a number of the central racing figures, let alone the horses, looking forward to a well-earned summer's break after an intense season.
The last few months have seen too much racing. The one thing that can revitalise all before the recess is a winner.
It may just be there in the shape of Kenny Kam's recent acquisition, Fortune Collect, who is entered for a seemingly suitable Class Six, 1,400-metre event on the equitrack next Wednesday.
Because it was generally a quiet morning at the track yesterday, it was easy to spot Fortune Collect's work as he came home in a solid one minute 21.7 in company with stablemate, Money Maker.
This was more than good enough to give further cause for encouragement for next week's contest, especially as Fortune Collect has excellent form credentials for the race as well.
His best run so far has been on the equitrack and he looks the ideal type for the dirt. He has good early speed and then just keeps on at one pace. This sort of horse prevails time and time again on the artificial surface.
He is also racing against the worst opposition he has faced and showed last time out that he was poised to break through.
Having been trained by Eddie K. C. Lo for much of the season, he then moved to Kenny Kam who sent him out at last weekend's Sha Tin meeting to run a fair fourth to Money Spinner in the mud.
Fortune Collect would have needed that race as he had been off the track for a fair while and had not trialled before reappearing. The outing should have done him the world of good.
Jockey Jackie C. K. Tse will be plenty hungry enough on Fortune Collect next Wednesday as he badly needs a winner after a bleak season compared to campaigns past for the former star apprentice who is in danger of entering a riding wilderness.
This would be a huge shame as Tse, a tough nugget, looked to have local racing at his feet the season before last. He had out-ridden his claim and was on the verge of challenging for the championship until hit with a riding ban.
Now he is languishing on the eight-winner mark, dreaming more of double figures than championships.
There was also a good piece of work on the main equitrack from the Lawrie Fownes-trained Nitrogen.
Like Fortune Collect, Nitrogen has been a recent stable change, running a couple of times in the last month or so from his new base having previously been with Chris Cheung Ting-pong.
As so often happens, the change in scenery has brought about an improvement in Nitrogen and he ran a cracker last time out over 1,400 metres until weakening close home in the race won by Saboatan.
He was only beaten a length into third and yesterday's work confirmed that there is still a race to be won with him before the curtain falls, especially if dropped back in distance. His pet trip in the past has been down the straight 1,000 metres - both here and when racing in Australia.
There were also two trials on the main equitrack yesterday morning with David Hill's Mountain Champ taking the first in solid rather than impressive fashion. On this kind of showing, he is another to keep on the right side of over the closing meetings, especially as this is always the time of year that Hill is most dangerous and Mountain Champ has a fresh if not the soundest pair of legs. He has yet to start this season having been held up with a series of training problems.
But he does have enough ability to win in Class Four and Hill has brought him along in his usual painstaking manner.
Patrick Biancone's Tango Prince ran home a seemingly disappointing fourth, a long way off the winner but not too much notice should be taken of this effort. He was allowed to lob quietly along by Gerald Mosse.
The second heat saw a solid win from John Moore's Easy Beat who is perhaps worth one more chance in Class Five but only for very small money. He missed the start last time, having earlier given some cause for encouragement now that he can run in these Class Five contests.
Wong Tang-ping's pair, Super Power and A Fortune, came home very strongly in this second heat and are better betting prospects. They are both staying types and the latter could show distinct improvement when pushed up in distance.