Plenty of quality among latest griffin crop
This season's crop of griffins has established itself as one of the strongest on record, with many of the juveniles producing highly creditable performances when stepping up to open company.
More evidence came last weekend when Great Achievement, a 2003 International Sale purchase for $1.7 million, followed a superb victory on May 8 against his peers by beating some quality Class Three opposition over 1,400 metres (Race 661).
In the same event, there was little wrong with the performance of third-placed Classa For Ever, who had to work a fraction too hard in the early stages. Considering he had received a seven-point penalty for finishing second to Lucky Marauding in early May, Classa For Ever ran very well.
Next season there will be plenty of griffins making their way through the grades on the evidence of their performances against proven competition this season.
The likes of Great Win, Sharki and Great Achievement have already tasted success against older opposition while Man On The Moon, Winning Cat and Classa For Ever have been among the place-getters.
Tiger Ridge beat Bulb King in the griffin event last weekend over 1,200 metres (Race 652), the pair drawing well clear of the remainder in the process. Daktim was back in third, going to the line nicely after making an awkward beginning. He has plenty of improvement to come and looks a nice prospect who is capable of winning before the season ends.
Unbeaten Always Flying's triumph in the Sha Tin Vase (Race 654) confirmed the impression that he is headed for the Premier grade and, probably, a place in the local lineup for the International Races in December.
The son of El Moxie showed plenty of tenacity to hold off the challenges of Able Prince (second) and Special King Prawn (third) in an exciting finish. Asset finished last but showed good early speed. It is early days for him, and he may be one to watch more closely in the future when he races into fitness.
There was a lot to like about the effort of Irish import Groom Raider ($240), who confirmed some promising trackwork by finishing third to Country Music over the minimum trip (Race 655). He is looking for more ground and there is no question he will be fitter next time round.
One of the more dominant performances at the weekend came from Dr Well, who annihilated his Class Four opposition by 51/2 lengths in his first attempt over 2,000 metres. There was some ease in the ground and that may have contributed to his significant improvement.
Scintillation looked a star in the making when beating highly consistent The Duke over 1,400 metres (Race 660). Scintillation is improving all the time and looks decent value for the 10-point penalty he incurred for the win.
Fifth-placed Famous Dancer made up plenty of ground in the concluding stages and there was merit in his performance despite his nine-length losing margin. He is one to keep a closer watch on for next time because his leadup work had been nothing special.
The stable change for Lok Wah Treasure brought about marked improvement as he scored an easy 31/4-length victory over 1,800 metres (Race 646). He covered plenty of extra ground along the way and looks capable of more success.
Ones to note: Groom Raider, Famous Dancer