Fownes to weave more Magic with Millennium
Millennium Magic underscored his liking for the straight 1,000-metre chute with a useful win in the first of six trials at Sha Tin yesterday.
The Lawrie Fownes-trained gelding ran a big-odds second down the straight first time out this season when chasing home Fortune Maker.
But since then he's been somewhat of a disappointment when racing round a bend, both on the grass and on the dirt.
He has had a few excuses, though, as for instance last time he had trouble getting a run and wasn't beaten at all far.
However, his best run remains his second to Fortune Maker when he did hang out a touch but also ran on strongly all the way to the line.
Yesterday he was soon in front and cleared away to win by three lengths from Chris Cheung Ting-pong's Winning Boy in 58.9 seconds which was by far the best time of the trial session.
Millennium Magic's final quarter was a respectable 22.7.
Fownes is enjoying an enormous season and his highly promising second-season performer Chiu Shan Glory recorded the best final quarter of the morning when taking the second heat by a short-head from Gary Ng Ting-keung's Happy Champ.
Stable jockey Wendyll Woods brought the good-looking Chiu Shan Glory through late to catch Happy Champ, who was also finishing off well to overtake long-time leader, As We Wish.
As We Wish wasn't ready when beaten out of sight on debut at Happy Valley but appears to have progressed since for trainer David Hayes. He showed much more pace yesterday and could place when next seen out in Class Four.
The Bruce Hutchison-trained private purchase import Brilliant Attorney had a head to spare over David Oughton's German import Gonlargo in the third trial.
The overall time was only a modest 1:00.3 though the final quarter was a creditable 23.1.
Wong Tang-ping's low-grade stayer Empire Court was on the scene in third and should be able to pick up a little race before the end of the season.
Geoff Lane's Lucky Victories might just have needed the run last time when weakening out of it behind Traveller Star and Return A Smile. Or maybe he's a top-class worker but not such a good racehorse.
Yesterday he took the fourth trial by a head from Ivan Allan's Me First who has been a disappointment this season since a promising reappearance.
Me First put in a really useful run as a griffin and given he's been so sparely raced has clearly been hard to train.
There was hope from this trial and maybe he's worth one more chance back on the grass.
John Moore's highly promising Stylish wasn't knocked about to run third to Lucky Victories.
Allan's Inca took the first griffin trial but neither of them amounted to much with Peter Ho's Ever Bold doing a similar demolition on the second heat, his experience telling.