Patient Fownes slips team into overdrive
Trainer Lawrie Fownes season has burst into action and the way Brilliant Way and Chiu Shan Glory have been working there could be more winners on the way this weekend.
Both trialled well at Happy Valley last Friday and yesterday they were noted completing pleasing 800-metre hitouts which should have left them ready to make a big impression at Sha Tin on Saturday.
Brilliant Way may head the weights for the feature event the Chinese Recreation Club Challenge Cup but he looks well rated for this Classes One and Two 1,400-metre contest which has only one Class One rated performer in the field, Ricky Yiu Poon-fie's High Sky.
Yesterday Brilliant Way came home in a smooth 24.3 seconds under stable jockey Wendyll Woods to clock a comfortable 800 metres in 51.7.
The grey has already had a pipe-opener over an inadequate 1,000 metres at Happy Valley and that, last week's trial and yesterday's hitout all point to a prominent showing on the weekend.
On his best form of last season, he was a lot better than the mark of 82 from which he is set to compete.
Chiu Shan Glory is a most striking individual whom retired Hong Kong trainer, Australian Neville Begg, had a hand in buying as a yearling for his former owner Robin Chan Yau-hing.
Chiu Shan Glory was given the kid gloves treatment by Fownes last season.
The accomplished, long serving mentor only raced this Star Way four-year-old, who is from a quality dam's line, three times.
The last of these resulted in a neck defeat of Good News, the pair pulling some 4.5 lengths clear of third placed Always Match.
This is invariably a sign of good form and Chiu Shan Glory's victory was further franked by two subsequent victories from the David Hayes-trained Good News.
Chiu Shan Glory trialled in Rolls-Royce style at Happy Valley last Friday and yesterday clocked a useful final 400 metres in 23.6 as he went through 800 metres in an overall 50.2, again under Woods.
Fownes has Chiu Shan Glory in section one of the mile Class Three handicap.
It won't be easy with the likes of Geoff Lane's Flags Up and Peter Ho's recent acquisition Fortune Associates also trialling well last week and being noted in gallop reports yesterday.
But Chiu Shan Glory could be the type to make significant improvement this season.
He's had the Fownes' patience, he has the pedigree and he has the impressive trackwork in the book.
In other work yesterday, Hayes quality recruit Helene Express enjoyed a solid 1,200 metres in 1:20.2 under Basil Marcus and is one to keep tabs on.
Helene Express galloped yesterday with Divine Prospect who is also coming to hand.
Bruce Hutchison's The Best Winner is another who seems to be on top of his game and appeals as well rated.
In the trials, Wong Tang-ping's Eastern Fortune took the opener and could be worth following when he switches back to the dirt. Lane's Bond ran third and is getting fitter.
Lane took the second heat with Lucky Victories but this was run in a slow time.
Yesterday's Sha Tin dirt trials First trial _ 1,050m: 1, EASTERN FORTUNE (D. Harrison); 2, Celestial Chief (B. Marcus); 3, Bond (E. Legrix). Others (in finishing order): Super Fairway, City Patrol, Sound Gallop, Deuce Of Hearts, Manor Star, Super Splendid, The Magaton, Brilliant Years. Time: 1:02.5 (23.5). Distances: neck, neck. Winner trained by Wong Tang-ping.
Second trial _ 1,050m: 1, LUCKY VICTORIES (D. Whyte); 2, Clear Master (E. Legrix); 3, Red Devil (R. Fradd). Others: Longmark, Concert Kaiser, Lucky Boy, Spectacular Win, Supreme Partners, Trigger, Beetle, Wing's Honour. Time: 1:03.8 (23.5). Distances: short-head, short-head. Winner trained by Geoff Lane.