Allan itching to try Scintillation over mile
Training maestro Ivan Allan rarely gets an itchy trigger finger with a horse, but admitted yesterday that the temptation to run Scintillation over 1,600 metres before the end of his current preparation is becoming stronger.
'I think Scintillation is going to be one of the best milers in Hong Kong next season,' he declared after the three-year-old spreadeagled the Class Two final event yesterday.
'Now that he is settling a bit better in these 1,400-metre races, I'm getting tempted to run him at the mile but it will have to be the right race. We'll see how he progresses and what is available.'
The beautifully bred Danehill gelding built himself a reputation as a hard-pulling horse in his races earlier this season but Allan has typically taken his time and allowed maturity to play its hand.
'The owner [Hui Sai-fun] has been a terrific owner and won many of the big races here so he knows that it can take some patience to develop a horse,' Allan said.
'When Scintillation was getting beaten in those races earlier in the season, I said to him that I felt he had a very good horse, but that he had to be allowed to come into himself. I said if I tried to force him, the horse would burn himself out and Mr Hui let me do as I thought best.'
Allan dropped the gelding back into 1,200-metre races, where the speed suited his mood better, and that further experience tempered Scintillation's attitude for his return to 1,400 metres.
Scintillation has answered that patient handling in his past two starts, streeting smart fields at 1,400 metres, though he is still keener than is ideal and the best is yet to come.
'Full credit to the Jockey Club. This is an international sales horse and he's going to make a very good four-year-old, top class, and they should take a bow for selecting him,' Allan said.
Anton Marcus and Allan have formed a formidable combination as the trainer's fortunes have lifted since a slow start to the season, though yesterday ended less than ideally for Marcus.
The jockey was suspended for five days under careless riding rules after his mount for Allan in the second last race, Summerland, was found to have caused trouble to other runners when he shifted ground in the run down the home straight.
Scintillation was the second leg of a double for Allan, who had earlier scored for Fairy King Prawn's owner, Philip Lau Sak-hong, in the sixth event with Special King Prawn (Eddie Lai Wai-ming).
It was the second win from three runs for the northern hemisphere three-year-old, who relished the step from 1,000 metres to 1,400 metres.
'Even though he won up the straight, I thought he wanted 1,400 metres and I do expect he'll get a mile next season strongly too,' Allan said. 'He's only just turned three, so he is young and has some more growing and developing to do yet but I'm tickled pink with how he's going. I'm also tickled because I suggested the name.'