Hayes has Sweet tooth for Victory

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 October, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 October, 1999, 12:00am

Sweet Victory can put David Hayes and Basil Marcus back on the winning trail in the fifth event on this afternoon's highly competitive 10-race Sha Tin card.

Hayes and Marcus were on the scoresheet on Wednesday night via Momentum but it could so easily have been a treble rather than just the solitary success as Marquee Universal and then Charming City lost out in photo-finishes which were both bob-of-the-head jobs.

Sweet Victory, himself, has been desperately unlucky on each of his two outings this season.

First time out, he should have finished closer than 5.5 lengths seventh to Perfect Combo but, in the context of the race, was ridden too far back and then met trouble in running. More recently he probably wouldn't have beaten Top Practitioner but, with normal luck in running, he would have given him plenty to think about.

Instead, Marcus and Sweet Victory flew home for third having been behind a wall of horses in the home straight for some 100 metres and this at a time when Sweet Victory was really starting to pick up.

This afternoon's contest is over a mile on the Sha Tin dirt.

Sweet Victory's past two runs, which showed that a Class Five success was imminent, have been on the grass. But Sweet Victory has handled the dirt before. Indeed his first career effort resulted in a third to Winning Express and Forever Prosperous in an 1,150-metre dirt sprint in which Sweet Victory came from off the pace to snatch the tierce spot on the line.

The son of Military Plume could also be at a reasonable quote of at least 6-1 and possibly even 7-1 as he's almost certainly perceived by the yard as one of their lesser lights.

When you've got a stable full of unexposed youngsters with which to plunder the griffin ranks, the Class Four and Class Three events and, for a few, to have a crack at some fine Class One prizes, there probably isn't a great deal of sense in getting too involved in these Class Five performers - especially a maiden.

But Sweet Victory, for the general punter, seems to be much more acclimatised this season, is down to the right mark in the right grade, handles the dirt, is in cracking form and should be at win and place odds.

The presence of such confirmed dirt specialists as Eastern Fortune, Flying Colours and King's Premium should ensure an each-way quote.

The trend has been for those with dirt form to be over bet so far this season. Of course some of them win and some of them run the quinella but not as many times as their odds say they will. The three mentioned could help to make the market for Sweet Victory who, in sharp contrast to, say Eastern Fortune, has good recent form to his name.

Flying Colours is worth persevering with and putting into the quinellas as he almost certainly needed his reappearance and should improve considerably for the run.

King's Premium didn't look ready for his reappearance either, fared worse than Flying Colours and may need another outing.

Elsewhere, Darley could well be the one in the sixth event. He looks to have been laid out for this by trainer Geoff Lane who is an astute placer of his horses.

Darley may be worth taking in quinellas and tierces with Guscott, Fruitful Trip, Johnny's Angel and Charity First with Sir Timah also a chance of filling third spot now he's up in distance.