Jet Speed can add to Allan's impressive tally
By ROBIN PARKE
FIRST-SEASON trainer Ivan Allan could still force champion trainer John Moore to pull out all the stops over the final meetings of the season as the Australian continues his odds-on bid to retain the title.
The Singaporean has had a tremendous first campaign - not a particular surprise to those who know him - and keeps putting away at least one winner at practically every meeting.
And he could be doing it again at Sha Tin tomorrow - and help Double Trio punters into the bargain.
Allan saddles up Jet Speed in the second leg of the popular bet, a moderate Class Five event over 1,600 metres and the re-blinkered gelding does have solid win credentials.
Jet Speed finished a length and a half second to Super Power course and distance on March 21. Super Power went on to run third over the Valley mile in Class Four behind Best Runner - a winner again since - to frank the form.
The biggest danger is topweight Snowmass from the stable of another title aspirant, David Hill.
Snowmass ran a stout race at the Valley last time over 1,650 metres where he finished second to Talisburg, who was much too strong.
He has been kept sweet by Hill since his last run and again tackles a trip here that should be ideal. He does look a very solid chance for Basil Marcus to again chip into the lead of now idle Tony Cruz, sitting out the first day of a three-meeting suspension.
Although the weather has cleared up, there is still the suggestion of rain and a track with real cut in it. If that is, by post time, the case then it is worth considering Something Special, a Class Six campaigner.
This fellow does love soft and heavy ground and could pop into the DT at suitably impressive odds.
Another worth a thought for value is the Moore-trained Yummy Yummy who could go a lot better here than in his last venture down the straight 1,000 metres.
The Hill-trained Mustang is an uneasy selection for the first leg of the Double Trio following his last start second at the night meeting last Saturday. He found rank outsider Mr Snip too hot to handle on the night but the 1,200-metre trip was not absolutely ideal, either, as he had to be ridden along.
As Hill keeps his horses in tip-top shape to the very end of the season, Mustang will strip fit and ready to perform tomorrow and, stepped up to a better distance of 1,400 metres for this Classes One and Two event, can prevail.
But he is seen as banker material rather than an out-and-out win bet as there are other chances in this interesting event.
Trainer Lawrie Fownes, also plugging away at the title although he gives himself little real hope, saddles up topweight Crown Counsel who won an almost identical race a year ago.
His runs this season have been few but Crown Counsel, in the right company, remains a distinct threat and on his best form he would have little to fear here.
Unfortunately, he has drawn in the extreme outside barrier (14) which will not make life any easier for Darren Gauci but he does look a must for DT selections.
And last start winner Shaka Zulu certainly has the necessary scope for improvement from that effort. He almost trotted up despite the fact that there were genuine doubts about his overall race fitness.
He had been off the scene for some time and the win came as something of a surprise to connections - albeit a pleasant one. As he must have derived benefit from that outing, he remains a solid chance here if he can handle the fairly hefty weight rise.