Hayes starting to wind up Crocker

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 12:00am

David Hayes' Australian import Crocker was one of the few to impress in the two all-weather trials at Sha Tin yesterday and he went into the notebook as a horse to follow as he finished third in the first heat. The son of Darbonne, who is rated 83, showed some potential in a previous trial but appears to have made significant progress and is being primed by Hayes for a forward showing when he first appears.

Andy Leung Ting-wah's Handbag's Honour won the trial quite convincingly in the end, but with Carol Yu on board he had a fairly light jockey to carry around, which always makes a significant difference. It was still a reasonably positive trial and, like many from that yard, he looks to be in quite good condition.

Geoff Lane's Desert Strike had displayed plenty of promise in his trials leading up to his debut, where he finished a somewhat disappointing ninth. The son of Volksraad appears to have taken that run quite well and, while he was kept under a tight hold by Shane Dye, he hit the line quite strongly. He is showing too much potential in his work not to be given another chance next time.

John Moore's Felicity was put down recently as one to note and the half-brother to Jeune King Prawn shaped quite nicely in the same heat to finish just behind the leading brigade.

The second heat was run almost a second quicker with the hot pace set by Leung's Dragon Horse, who has shown plenty of speed in other trials. The quick early tempo appeared to take its toll on him late in the trial as Lane's Surplus took up the running close home to score a convincing victory. The winner appears to have picked up a fraction in his work and may be starting to hit his peak now.

In other work, Moore's Double Martini caught the eye in his grass gallop on Monday when he worked over 800 metres in a steady 55.2 seconds. The son of Canny Lad is entered this weekend and appears to be working along in a solid fashion.

Hayes' Tom's First failed his official barrier trial, which was imposed after he was slowly away on his last appearance. While Tom's First failed to muster early speed again, which seems to be his familiar trait, he was eased down by Shane Dye at about the halfway stage. It was rather surprising, then, to see that Tom's First had apparently failed his trial due to the fact that he came home tailed off, as he clearly was under no pressure to finish off the trial strongly.


First trial _ 1,050m (dirt): 1, HANDBAG'S HONOUR (W. S. Yu); 2, Dashing Winner (E. Legrix); 3, Crocker (D. Dunn). Others (in finishing order): Desert Strike, Felicity, Sensible Mind, Perfect Choice, Salut Beaute. Time: 1:03.7 (24.7). Distances: .75 length, neck. Winner trained by T. W. Leung.

Second trial _ 1,050m (dirt): 1, SURPLUS (M. W. Leung); 2, Dragon Horse (B. Marcus); 3, Cyber Wisdom (E. Legrix). Others (in finishing order): Winmark, Billion Delight, Champion Ranger, Eternal Start, My Favourite, Tom's First. Time: 1:02.8 (24.3). Distances: 3 lengths, 2.75 lengths. Winner trained by G. Lane.