Romantic Venture looks set to strike
Romantic Venture, desperately unlucky not to beat the progressive Welldone Kid last time out, confirmed a victory is just around the corner with a solid trial effort in the first of six heats at Happy Valley yesterday.
The Geoff Lane-trained stayer lost ground when forced to switch around them last time whereas the following Welldone Kid could nip through on the inside. The luck in running made all the difference to the result and Romantic Venture remains a staying winner waiting to happen.
That run came over the Valley's 1,800 metres and yesterday he came through from mid-division under Shane Dye to score by a pleasing length from the Wong Tang-ping-trained Manley's Fortune who adopted his customary pace-setting role.
Ivan Allan's Triumphant Mascot was pushed up in distance in this heat and should come right in time.
Ping's Northern Gold Ball looks to have made good physical progress and ran out a short-head winner from another promising sort in Derek Cruz's Derek's Choice in the fifth trial. Northern Gold Ball, sporting his blinkers, was soon on the pace under Douglas Whyte who will be extra keen for winners following a recent suspension. Anything Whyte and Ping team up for is worth a second glance, especially these younger, less-exposed types and Northern Gold Ball has developed into a good sort.
Derek's Choice probably needs time and gentle handling but there is no doubting he has the ability to win this term.
The final heat was notable for the successful trial of John Moore's enigmatic Absolute who Basil Marcus refused to ride last time, as did every other senior jockey who was free. He went round in front under John Egan before weakening some 200 metres out. The trial itself went to Allan's Magic Win who prior to showing speed last time had looked pretty hopeless. He could pop up in Class Six.
Moore's For My Wishes rehabilitation continued with a win in the third trial while Andy Leung's Cyber Wisdom, a patent non-stayer last time, took the fourth.