Ace to trump sprint rivals

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2001, 12:00am

Improving sprinter Ace Of Pace can take tonight's feature event at Happy Valley, a competitive Australian Centenary Cup.

This Class Two 1,200-metre contest sees an exciting mix of some useful Happy Valley sprint handicappers taking on a handful of highly promising young sprint types, and it promises to be an open betting event.

Preference is for Ace Of Pace as his last run was clearly his career-best on both Topspeed and form ratings, and since then he's put in a trial which also suggests he's working as well, if not better, than he's ever gone.

Throw in a decent draw - he jumps from barrier four under the talented South African jockey Weichong Marwing - and the four-year-old son of Snaadee looks almost certain to give his supporters a big run for their money.

Last time out he ran 2.75 lengths second to David Hayes' heavily-backed newcomer All Thrills Too in the opening event on International Day. It was a truly run affair and usually horses which have clocked a career-best Topspeed figure and run to a career-best rating on their most recent starts go extremely close to winning next time out. Indeed, on Topspeed's ratings, Ace Of Pace comes out as the selection. His recent trial effort adds further confidence to his cause.

The likes of Prospero and My Honour are clearly going to be hard to beat and merit respect, as does a revitalised Gold Charm.

Prospero and My Honour fall into a very similar category to Ace Of Pace in that they also recorded career-best speed and form figures on their most recent outings and look to be on the upgrade. However, Ace Of Pace is slightly better suited by the draw compared to Prospero and much better suited than My Honour who, on his debut for the in-form Derek Cruz stable, must jump from the extreme outside barrier. Stall 12 in these 1,200-metre Valley sprints, with a treacherously short run to a dog-leg first bend, can be very hard to overcome.

All the same My Honour has been working very fluently since moving to Cruz and it would be no surprise to see him improve again, while Prospero ran up against two very lively sorts in Super Molly and Frat Rat last time out. Prospero had been raised nine pounds for his defeat of Red Devil prior to that and the hike in the ratings that both he and My Honour incurred for their wins this season may just be enough to keep them out of the win spot.

Gold Charm came right back to form last time when forcing the progressive sprinter Winning Counter to pull out all the stops on the dirt. Gold Charm may well have taken longer to come to hand this term compared to last due to trouble with a hoof. Trainer Lawrie Fownes has him right now, as underlined by some very bright work since his dirt second.

Beas Glory loves this trip, as does My Chief, who is yet another of these improving young sorts. It is hard to see beyond these six.

Graphic: H1200glo