Finishing touches put to Masterpiece

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

Alex Wong Siu-tan's New Zealand import Masterpiece continues to impress on the Sha Tin worktracks and should be supported accordingly when first seen out.

The unraced three-year-old was untroubled to jump straight to the front in the first of two barrier trials on the dirt track and even less troubled to come home a cosy and classy 2.5 lengths to the good of the Lawrie Fownes-trained Golden Warrior.

This highly promising trial follows an earlier eye-catching trial from Masterpiece and some smart work. It is hard to think this three-year-old son of the American-bred Senor Pete, who is out of a Grosvenor mare, won't be extremely competitive from his rating of 49. Indeed, when he was first out and about working, so well did he move, so naturally did everything come to him, that the immediate impression was that he'd come here as a private purchase rather than a private-purchase griffin.

The Tony Millard-trained improver Only The Brave took the second heat by 2.5 lengths from Gary Ng Ting-keung's potentially useful stayer Frame's People. Millard has given Only The Brave a bit of a break after a hard and highly successful first half of the season which saw him win three of his four races. He's come back from that spell going as well if not better than ever. He worked really fluently last week with stablemate and excellent trackworker Sunny Day and yesterday's trial success confirmed that Only The Brave continues to go forward.

In other work yesterday, master mentor Ivan Allan had his Stewards' Cup big guns on display in readiness for Sunday's setweights mile spectacular. Fairy King Prawn and Indigenous came through a solid 1,200 metres in one minute 20.5 seconds. It is going to be a very brave punter who bets against 'The Prawn', such a brilliant and luckless second to Sunline in the Hong Kong Mile, given Sunday's race conditions.

Allan's Chairman's Prize winner, Tajasur, was also out doing light work yesterday as his comeback continues.

Elsewhere, Shane Dye put the David Hayes-trained Special through 1,200 metres in 1:23.4. Special looked a shade unlucky not to win last time when checked in the closing stages. Dye should be an ideal rider for him in Sunday's Class One mile handicap as he's best coming from off the pace.

Dye also put Hayes' newcomer Don't Make A Scene through a strong 1,200 metres in 1:15.7, suggesting business is meant in Sunday's Class Four 1,200-metre event. In the Class Four 1,400-metre contest, look out for David Oughton's Kashmac, who is now working much more like his old self.


First trial _ 1,050m (dirt): 1, MASTERPIECE (E. St-Martin); 2, Golden Warrier (W. Woods); 3, Mughal Palace (S. King). Others (in finishing order): Fortune Express, Comedy, Euclase Treasure, Cheers Up, California Kid. Time: 1:03.3 (24.5). Distances: 2.5 lengths, 3 lengths. Winner trained by Wong Siu-tan.

Second trial _ 1,050m (dirt): 1, ONLY THE BRAVE (W. C. Marwing); 2, Frame's People (R. Fradd); 3, Viking Dancer (K. C. Tsang). Others: China Legend, Victory Master, Splendid Star, Noble Charge, Extraordinary. Time: 1:04.9 (24.5). Distances: 2.5 lengths, 1 length. Winner trained by Tony Millard.