Century has ton of heart

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 November, 1999, 12:00am

Century Horse looks a cut above Class Four and should take plenty of beating in this afternoon's sixth event on a bumper 10-race card at Sha Tin.

All the races have a competitive feel to them so it is hard to justify why this Class Four dash, which is full of lightly raced types and three that have not raced at all, is the final leg to the Triple Trio which carries a $14.4 million jackpot.

If those who make these selections at the Jockey Club want to turn the TT into a kind of racing Mark Six, the selection is fine. No doubt the griffin races will be in the TT soon.

But if they want it to be a game of skill, as it should, then a policy rethink is in order.

While the tierce may be hard to pick, Century Horse appears to have an outstanding win and place chance.

And he could be at a fair price, as with so many unexposed types that have appeared to go well in the mornings in the race, there could be plenty of betting on suspicion.

Century Horse showed what he was capable of last time when flying home to run a close second to Hong Kong Legend in a Class Four 1,200-metre Happy Valley contest.

It was an enormous effort from the Andy Leung Ting-wah-trained galloper as he took a long time to find his feet at the Valley.

But in the closing stages he was fairly eating up the ground and would have prevailed in another stride or two.

He didn't have the clearest of runs either.

Some may argue that the form has taken a dent as the much-vaunted third, Tea For Gentlemen, was backed and defeated last weekend. However, his defeat came in a solid Class Three contest in which he raced near a strong speed and kept galloping all the way to the line.

In hindsight, it was a commendable effort from Tea For Gentleman and goes some way to underlining Century Horse's chance against a lot of inexperienced or fading Class Four opponents.

Century Horse has always worked as if more than capable of holding his own in Class Three come the middle of the season and Leung and stable jockey Brett 'Double' Doyle do so well with their youngsters. They are never in a hurry with them and that patience can now pay off.

Kudos could provide the most danger from barrier one.

He was all the rage on two occasions last season, only to disappoint badly for his new trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie after he'd been bought at tender out of Bruce Hutchison's yard.

This time round Kudos has come back into work looking a million dollars and working and trialling accordingly.

He is the one Century Horse has to beat.

Perfect Fun rather lost his way after a decent debut last season but he, too, has come back working speedily.

Smart Fighter is a decent type and open to considerable improvement. Don't be surprised if he's right there in the firing line.

There is sure to be a fierce pace set by the likes of Monopoly Senior and Master Merlin and they could bring each other undone.

Green Supreme loves the straight 1,000-metre course and the likely helter-skelter pace could bring him into the race over the concluding stages.

The youngsters - St Alann, Conquest Star and New Dynasty - all have ability with the first two named probably a bit more forward than New Dynasty.

All the same, it could be tough for them up against the more experienced Century Horse, Kudos, Green Supreme and Smart Fighter with Perfect Fun the next pick.