Moore stirs Martini ahead of griffin opener

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 31 December, 1999, 12:00am

Treat yourself to a Double Martini at Sha Tin on Sunday.

It is that griffin time of year and the John Moore-trained youngster should be particularly hard to beat in Sunday's first event and the opening of the griffin season.

Watching these youngsters develop is always an enthralling spectacle, even if sometimes it doesn't immediately throw up a betting opportunity.

The opportunities can come some way down the line, though, and be very profitable.

For Double Martini the time to strike looks to be on Sunday providing he's not prohibitively short. He's been flying through his work for Moore since an impressive trial win down the Sha Tin straight.

He went particularly well on Tuesday morning when galloping strongly and every bit as well as his senior stablemate, Gainsborough's Boy, who is in action at Happy Valley tonight.

Yesterday, Ivan Allan worked Blessings' Partner through a solid 800 metres under Douglas Whyte. Blessings' Partner has been coming along nicely and, at this stage, is probably the best of Allan's griffin runners on the weekend.

He appears to have a realistic quinella chance behind Double Martini.

David Oughton's Kimbo Bell goes nicely, too, for this griffin event.

Yesterday, he worked through 800 metres in 48.1 seconds with a fast final quarter in 22.3 under Freddie Sanchez. The problem with Kimbo Bell is that he's very tardy from the gates.

A close watch should be kept on Allan's Intrigue in the Class Four eighth event on Sunday.

There was money around for him when he made his debut and he shaped promisingly.

Since then he appears to have made considerable improvement at the track.

He caught the eye in an easy workout earlier in the week and yesterday was noted clocking a useful 46.4 for his 800-metre hitout under Eric Legrix.

They worked in company with the decent track performer Sterling Star and not too many of Allan's are asked to go this quickly.

Clear Castle, from the Ricky Yiu Poon-fie stable, could be worth keeping an eye on in the Class Five seventh event.

This is run over 1,800 metres on the dirt and is very much Clear Castle's surface.

He failed on the grass last time, where he also failed to stay.

But he'd run well on the dirt prior to that and has been working as fluently as ever.

These freegoers in the morning, and Clear Castle certainly falls into that category, are often the ones to be on come dirt racing.

Clear Castle will be ridden by boom claimer Roger K. H. Yu, who is back from yet another spell on the sidelines.

Yu is an enormous talent and it is to be hoped he can now settle down and get on with the business of riding winners.

Yesterday's Sha Tin dirt trial 1,150m: 1, TREASURE ISLAND (E. Legrix); 2, Gold Razor (S. K. Sit); 3, Heavenly Wind (M. W. Leung). Others (in finishing order): Masterkey, Faster Mount, Lucky Victories, Bayview King, Prime Witness, Projectvision, Profit Master, Sterling Performer. Time: 1:08.2 (24.3). Distances: short-head, 3 lengths. Winner trained by Geoff Lane.