Legrix to sparkle on Gem

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 December, 1999, 12:00am

Indy's Gem can give Peter Chapple-Hyam another winner by taking the featured St Andrew's Challenge Quaich on the Sha Tin dirt.

Dirt meetings are there to be endured for the greater good and, for the inveterate punter, there will be seven winners.

Indy's Gem, hopefully, will be one of them.

This Class Two event over 1,650 metres is not easy and the selection is offered in the fairly sound hope that he will be a solid each-way odds. He certainly deserves to be.

Last time out Indy's Gem and jockey Freddie Sanchez parted company on the first turn in a 1,650-metre race at Happy Valley and tonight Eric Legrix takes over from his compatriot who is sidelined through suspension.

The American-bred gelding has run well on the dirt before and has been working particularly fluently coming into this. Legrix, who is having a fine first season as a Club jockey, knows the horse backwards and is guaranteed to get the best from him. It just might be enough.

The last time he completed a race, Indy's Gem was just a half-length away from the excellent Wasabi at Happy Valley. The race has worked out well as Wasabi scored again and fourth-placed Willie Way was also on the mark.

Interestingly, Billion Delight finished alongside Indy's Gem in that run and has also gone well since.

The excellent win of Charming City on Saturday boosts the form of Toymark as this fellow chased him home over 1,400 metres and was not disgraced in finishing just over four lengths away.

Toymark has also worked well since and must be considered.

Wendyll Woods and Lawrie Fownes combine with Ablaze and he is something of a nap on the dirt. He has been at huge odds at his past three starts but this is the type of race he is after and Ablaze could win without surprising.

He appears to be going well in the mornings and has edged down to a competitive mark on his favourite surface.

Topweight Bullish strikes the surface for only the third time and a mile is probably not his best trip but he is nothing if not honest. He is by a sprinting sire out of an American mare so might have some of the attributes necessary for this surface.

On the score of determination, Bullish could be included but you would be looking for a shade of odds.

Universal Winner is a tough one to call. Unknown on the surface, he has plenty of ability and had excuses for a last start failure over 1,400 metres.

The distance is as far as he would want but if Universal Winner shows an aptitude for dirt, he could be a surprise package - or one to bring Triple Trio punters undone.