Super Tension in return to top form
WEIGHT can stop a train, or so the saying goes. Conversely there is a race for each and every horse in Hong Kong provided he falls far enough down the handicap scale.
Super Tension had been one of the standard bearers for Gary Ng Ting-keung during his formative first two seasons with a trainer's licence, winning five times and placing once.
But the chestnut flopped last campaign when those past successes caught up with him and he was at the wrong end of the weights.
This season Super Tension starts from a handy mark of 57 and his trackwork during these opening salvos at Sha Tin suggests that he has now dropped far enough in the ratings to be worth paying close attention to from a betting point of view.
In contrast to his current rating, he opened last season from a 77 yet yesterday he worked with all his old fluency, hitting the line in a very easy 25.6 seconds for his final 400 metres under Ng's stable apprentice.
The Lawrie Fownes-trained veteran handicapper, Money No Problem, is another who has plummeted down the ratings.
He, too, failed to oblige last season when racing exclusively in Class Four. This time round he embarks from a 31 in Class Five which, like Super Tension, is also a fall of 20 pounds and a Class compared to 12 months ago.
In previous seasons Money No Problem has been one to catch first time out and his best run of last season was arguably his reappearance fourth to Overtaker.
Yesterday, the Darren Gauci-ridden Money No Problem looked to have a distinct edge over stablemate Money Spinner as they completed 800 metres in a pleasing 52.2 seconds.
In other work, Gauci's mount, the sprinter Nitrogen, caught the eye as he appeared to edge out Super Structure as they quickened up close home to notch a 25.4-second last 400 metres.
Useful stayer Filipachi has fitted in easily to his new routine with Derek Cruz, having been trained by Alex Wong Siu-tan for the past two seasons.
Filipachi was yesterday working well for the second time this week, striding out in imposing fashion over his final quarter for a 54.4-second 800 metres under new stable jockey Gary Carter.
Chris Cheung Ting-pong's Top Glory ran twice last season, impressing first time out when making up a lot of ground to be third to Mighty Mighty before disappointing behind Gay Pegasus II.
But any horse can be forgiven one apparently poor run, especially a griffin making a quick reappearance.
Top Glory's work indicates that run behind Gay Pegasus II is best discarded as yesterday he went stylishly to the line in 25.6 off some even pacework to complete his 1,200-metre hitout in one minute 22.4.
Jade, one of the Australian-bred subscription griffins, showed definite signs of ability for Wylie Wong last season - certainly enough to prevail in Class Four.
He should lack nothing in fitness during the first few meetings, completing two strong laps yesterday.