Centenary at mercy of Supreme Bases
Supreme Bases looks to be coming to hand right on cue for Saturday's disappointing feature event, the Centenary Vase.
Trainer David Hill, habitually in his element in the second half of the season, appears to have set his useful stayer for this valuable 2,200-metre domestic Group Three contest.
It is a disappointment, by the way, because it is a domestic Group Three contest yet it can only muster 11 entries.
And of these, three - Hong Kong Vitality, Team Honour and Temmoku - are going to have little chance at the ratings if the David Hayes-trained topweight, Hunting Lad, stands his ground which is the most likely scenario.
At the top end of the ratings there just aren't enough stayers to go round which is why moving the Derby to 2,000 metres was always going to be a problem. However, if the Jockey Club wants to attract more and better stayers, which it does and rightly so as they add to the sport, it had to start somewhere.
It's a kind of Catch 22 situation but one which the connections of Supreme Bases can benefit from as their runner has struck just about as uncompetitive event for the money on offer that they could hope to wish for.
Supreme Bases had a good trial a few weeks ago and then a run down the straight 1,000-metre chute behind Holy Grail in the first leg of the sprint Triple Crown. He was by no means disgraced and has looked fluent and well in himself in work since that run.
Yesterday, on a quiet day at the track relative to Saturday's mixed grass and dirt meeting, Supreme Bases came through an easy 1,200 metres in 1:25.7 and should be ready to do a job this weekend.
Geoff Lane has been chipping away with a winner here and a winner there over the past few weeks, despite having one of the smaller strings.
Seven Glory has been one of his to have run well the last twice but without quite getting his head in front.
Those creditable efforts have been with the stable apprentice M. W. Leung on board.
Since then Lane has called for the services of the demon Douglas Whyte who has been noted putting Seven Glory through his trackwork paces as indeed he did yesterday.
Again it was a relatively easy piece, with Seven Glory and stablemate and good worker Rare skipping through 800 metres in a cosy 53.1 seconds.
Seven Glory is basically fit and well from racing with yesterday's gallop only serving to keep him ticking over until the weekend where he's in over a mile on the grass.
There are some tough opponents to contend with such as Kindred Spirits and Arriba-Arriba but the way Seven Glory has been racing and working, the handicap mark to which he's dropped, plus the jockey change, all indicate he's going to be competitive.