Class act to steal the show for Cruz
Our Class looked more than a bit useful when making a winning dirt debut and he's hard to oppose in this afternoon's feature at Sha Tin, the Tung Wah Centenary Cup.
The New Zealand-bred three-year-old, who had fair form before arriving here, did it the hard way, too, on his first local start. He disputed a solid speed with as quick a horse as Certainty and, while Certainty finished down the track, Our Class was able to kick on and score by 1.5 lengths from one of today's main rivals, Success Magic.
The form looks healthy as Success Magic came out and won his next start over the Happy Valley minimum sprint trip of 1,000 metres. But because he won he finds himself only two pounds better off with Our Class for the 1.5 lengths he was beaten. He's also drawn to get a much tougher run this afternoon than Our Class, who can lead from gate three and grab the rails. Success Magic, if he is to prevail, is going to have to do it the hard way as he's got such quick horses inside him as Bullish and Winning Counter, let alone having Our Class in that favourable inside berth.
With Success Magic likely to have a tough run, and not weighted anyway to reverse the form, the main danger to Our Class could come from the improving sprinter Winning Counter, who fought hard on a torrid pace to down Gold Charm by 1.5 lengths.
Gold Charm is weighted to reverse the form with Winning Counter but he's not drawn to do so. Last time they met Gold Charm had a cheap inside run. This time he's drawn out in the carpark in gate 13. He's going to have to do an awful amount of work from there to run into the quinella behind Our Class, who has trialled really well since his win and worked the track down, to boot, in his normal morning hitouts.
Our Class, trained by defending champion handler Tony Cruz and ridden by Felix Coetzee, is also representing a team in spanking form.
Best of the others could be the Geoff Lane-trained Rare. He likes to rattle home from off a fast pace, as he's shown the last few times he's run. He should get every chance to finish off strongly for Eric Legrix today with so much pace expected in the first half of this 1,150-metre Class Two dash.
If an outsider is going to put his head into the frame it just might be the Derek Cruz-trained All The Glory, who likes the dirt and is nicely drawn in stall four.