Sniff of promise about Begg hopeful Clear Spray
By ROBIN PARKE
COURSE and distance winner Clear Spray comes solidly into the reckoning for the fourth event on tomorrow night's final Happy Valley card of the season and looks a useful Double Trio banker.
With the presence of handy debut winner Make It Happen in the field, punters are entitled to a shade of odds about the Neville Begg-trained Clear Spray who will be partnered by Greg Childs.
Make It Happen, ridden by Frenchman Gerald Mosse, has every chance to repeat but has drawn a wide barrier and faces slightly stiffer competition than when he prevailed at the first time of asking. But he is a genuine and obvious chance.
Clear Spray was tried over a mile on yielding ground at Sha Tin back on May 1 and simply could not get a blow in over a trip that proved too testing.
Hopefully, he will have been freshened up sufficiently to take this return to the longer Valley sprint in his stride. Two starts back Clear Spray ran well over 1,400 metres and it looked as if he just gave out in the final 100 metres, suggesting that thistrip is ideal for him.
With those last two runs under his belt there will be no doubting the fitness of the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old who certainly looks capable of running into the frame which is the prerequisite for a DT banker.
Make It Happen has been sensibly rested by trainer Wylie Wong Wai-lit since landing a gamble at his debut. The horse had plenty of racing in his native Australia but is certainly a game enough customer as he showed when winning readily on his debut in late March.
The seven-pound increase is unlikely to stop him but there is a worry about the draw (nine) as there are a couple on his inside likely to shift along early on.
Also drawn out is Irish import Fortune Winner who ran a decent race on his debut at the city track on the dirt. That was over the minimum trip of 1,030 metres which was too short. He was then stepped up to 1,200 metres at Sha Tin in a very hot race won bythe excellent Heavily Armed.
The vagaries of local handicapping were well demonstrated in that event as Fortune Winner was rated 83 by the respected Turform organisation with Heavily Armed earning a 96P (improver) for his Irish efforts.
This is an easier outing for Fortune Winner and he could give a sight at decent odds.
The second leg sees topweight City Raider dropped back to 1,650 metres after being narrowly beaten last time over 1,800 metres.
The Patrick Biancone stable is long overdue a winner and City Raider, a solid winner on the Happy Valley equitrack over 1,600 metres, could turn the tide. He is being asked to carry plenty of weight but there does not seem to be a lot of depth to the race.
He can be taken as a banker for the second leg with last start winner Easy Beat remaining a chance along with demoted Say Yes who could give a decent sight in this easier company.