Gallant Blossom ready to bloom
Gallant Blossom is expected to flourish this season and is worth close consideration in the fifth event on tonight's Valley card after a pleasing Sha Tin workout yesterday.
The Alex Wong Yu-on-trained grey was put through his paces by jockey Felix Coetzee who has the ride tonight.
Coetzee asked his mount to come home in 24.3 seconds to notch an overall 1,200-metre time of 1:23.9.
Gallant Blossom lacks any Happy Valley experience which could prove insurmountable in terms of actually winning tonight's Class Four mile contest. But his work suggests he's going to go close and is at least worth including in quinellas and tierces.
With Gallant Blossom it isn't the time he's running as he's very laid back in the mornings, not firing up until in his races proper.
It's more the way he's moving and looking. He seems to be on excellent terms with himself and is enjoying himself.
Looking ahead, it shouldn't be too long before dual defending champion trainer David Hayes has Divine Prospect out and running.
His improving sprinter appears pretty forward, yesterday picking up well for a final 400 metres in a pleasing 23.2 seconds under Hayes' stable jockey, the multiple champion, Basil Marcus.
Hayes' Mughal Palace is another just a couple of meetings or so off a run.
He was disqualified last season after testing positive to isoxsuprine. Owner Syed Pervez Hussain originally planned to sue the Hong Kong Jockey Club's veterinary department and/or the Jockey Club itself in order to recover the win prize money as Mughal Palace's connections had followed the Club's veterinary guidelines and yet their horse had still returned a positive.
Now the owner tells me a happy compromise has been reached. No one is suing anyone and Mughal Palace has returned to the mark from which he 'won'.
If this is indeed the case, Mughal Palace, who came through 800 metres in 50.2 seconds, should be very competitively weighted.
In other work, Bellagio seems to be going the right way and should give a good account of himself when first seen out.
Quality French jockey Eric Legrix rode Bellagio yesterday and looks to have picked up another useful ride in John Moore's reclassified griffin, Fortune Prizes who came through a solid 1,200 in 1:15.9 in company with stablemate Good Message who is habitually a good worker.
Beauty Fountain is another who appears pretty forward and could be worth jotting down.
There were also three all-weather trials yesterday with Peter Ho's speedy Fast Win taking the second in the best time of the morning and David Oughton's unexposed Thank Heavens making good late ground in the opener.