King puts Unicorn through QEII paces
Electronic Unicorn might not be ready for the big boys yet but he's going into Sunday's $7 million Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup in the form of his life.
Leading Australian jockey Steven King has flown back, only a matter of weeks after splitting with retaining trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie, to partner Electronic Unicorn in the weekend's Group Two 2,000-metre contest.
King was on hand to put him through a solid 1,200 metres yesterday morning in company with stablemate Full Throttle.
Electronic Unicorn is never a flash worker - so many of the really good horses are the same. They are relaxed almost to the point of indolence in the mornings, their competitive spirits only igniting when the gates burst open on racedays.
In contrast many of those who appear to be working brilliantly are doing it on their nerves.
When they are sent to the races their fragile temperaments get the better of them and they fall into the proverbial hole some 200 or 300 metres out.
Electronic Unicorn has continued to surprise for most of his career. He's so laid back in the mornings and just ambles through his gallops.
But his third in the Classic Trial was a huge effort, making up so much ground off a slow pace.
It was said at the time that he should have been selected for the Derby and he showed that with a brilliant 1,800-metre handicap win on his next start when he won pulling a stagecoach.
Since then he's appeared on excellent terms with himself in the mornings and yesterday was no exception as he and Full Throttle clocked 1:19.5 for their 1,200-metre grass gallop.
Master mentor Ivan Allan has put a couple of 800-metre pieces into his staying champion Indigenous over the last few days in order to prepare him for Sunday's clash with Jim And Tonic. He appears to have taken his Dubai World Cup foray in his stride.
The demon Douglas Whyte sprinted up Australia's challenger Iron Horse yesterday morning.
Iron Horse is a solid type and there is nothing to criticise about him other than his form is probably not good enough to see him figure in the tierce.
Thesaurus, the first American runner in the QEII Cup, has also been out and about.
He's a finer type than Iron Horse and looks extremely fit.
In other work for the weekend, David Hayes appears to have his smart three-year-old Charming City going as well ever in readiness for the 1,600-metre Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup.
There was one trial yesterday for which John Moore's dual winning griffin Double Martini had to be withdrawn after injuring himself prior to the start.
A subsequent Jockey Club release stated: 'There is no obvious sign of any fracture. He was initially treated for shock and is at present in a stable condition.' The trial itself was won by Wong Tang-ping's good griffin Splendid Patrol who made all to beat Hong Kong Stallion by 1.25 lengths.
YESTERDAY'S SHA TIN DIRT TRIAL 1,050m: 1, SPLENDID PATROL (K. S. Yu); 2, Hong Kong Stallion (K. K. Lai); 3, Derek's Choice (W. S. Yu). Others: Brave Star, Simon Says, Right On, Billion Win, Little Plaything, Winning King, Leopard, Pakistan Hero. Time: 1:01.7 (24.3). Distances: 1.25 lengths, 1.25 lengths. Winner trained by Wong Tang-ping.