Winning Hurrah stakes his claim
Winning Hurrah confirmed his strong claims in tomorrow's eighth event at Sha Tin when easing through his final workout at the New Territories' venue yesterday.
The Andy Leung Ting-wah-trained four-year-old looked a most exciting speedster early on last season but didn't quite make the improvement expected.
But he also had a lot of excuses in his races, either due to bad draws on biased tracks or blowing the start and getting no run over the Valley's minimum 1,000 metres.
He again had no luck last time when ninth to Strong Win at the Valley when more or less completely boxed in for the length of the home straight.
He would have gone very close to winning, had he seen daylight.
Prior to that race he had worked and trialled really well in the blinkers, which he wore for the first time behind Strong Win. Since then he's also gone on with it and yesterday's easy final 400 metres in 24.8 seconds under stable jockey Brett Doyle should have topped off Winning Hurrah nicely for tomorrow's dash down the Sha Tin straight.
Leung's once-raced Sight First had a very solid hitout yesterday, clocking a useful 49.8s for his 800-metre piece.
He's in tomorrow's second event and while he may find the likes of Superior Title, Speedy Champion and Sunny Day a bit too good, he could be worth keeping safe in the tierces.
The list of interesting newcomers tomorrow is headed by the John Moore-trained Survey General who acquitted himself well in the Italian Derby, finishing third but being demoted to fourth.
He's taking them on in the Chevalier Cup over 1,600 metres and from his work and trials, it looks as if he's going to need every bit of the mile trip before he starts to get into top flight. He's probably best passed over tomorrow with a watching brief for when he's over 2,000 metres or farther.
However, Moore has a very interesting unraced sort in the Rory's Jester gelding Stylish who contests the penultimate event.
The three-year-old has shown tremendous natural speed and a touch of quality in his work and trials and should go close to making a winning debut.
Whether he can beat Scotia is another matter, as Scotia had worked really well prior to his exciting debut when flashing home for fifth at the Valley under Carol Yu.
South African Douglas Whyte now steps up for the ride and he is clearly a significant jockey change.
Yesterday, Moore kept Stylish to a light 800-metre hitout with stablemate Sporting Glory.
But don't worry about that. Stylish is plenty fit enough to give a very good account of himself at the first time of asking.
In other work yesterday, Whyte's mount in the fourth, Thank Heavens, underlined that he's going to be very hard to beat with a sharp final quarter in 23.8s.
In yesterday's lone dirt trial, Derek Cruz's Fortune Maker continued to impress his fan club, making light work of his opponents to win the dash by seven lengths from David Hayes' Perfect Model, who is also in good order.
TRIAL 1,150m: 1, FORTUNE MAKER (R. Fradd); 2, Perfect Model (B. Marcus); 3, Well Express (B. Doyle). Others (in finishing order): Flags Up, Heavy Weapon, Qui Vivra Verra, Housemaster, Cheetah. Time: 1:07.3 (23.6). Distances: 7 lengths, .75 length. Winner trained by Derek Cruz.