Lee hopes to go one better

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 October, 2004, 12:00am

While high-profile freshmen trainers David Hall and Paul O'Sullivan have been attacting the lion's share of publicity, Hong Kong's third rookie for the new season has been quietly making an impressive start to the latest chapter of his career.

Almond Lee, long-time assistant to David Hayes, has already had three seconds and a third from his initial runners, including a second to his old boss last week when Hayes' Fuji Sunrise defeated Lee's Barracuda.

Today at Sha Tin, Lee has called on the assistance of the master, Douglas Whyte, to help him break into the winner's circle. They will combine with Being Famous in the third event, a Class Four handicap over 1,650 metres on the all-weather track.

Being Famous, a New Zealand-bred son of Gold Brose, took to the artificial track beautifully late last term, winning an identical race with a strong finish under the guidance of Craig Williams.

Lee has given the four-year-old one run back from a spell and he did very well for a fourth to Add The Fun over 1,400 metres on turf last week.

With the fitness benefit derived from that run, and backing up within a week, Being Famous should be perfectly placed to be right in the finish and - with a bit of luck - become the landmark first winner for the newly-licensed trainer.

The tricky part will be the initial 100 metres of the race, as Being Famous has come up with a shocking alley in barrier 14. But his major rival, Clean Sweep (Gerald Mosse) is not much better off, only two gates closer in 12.

Clean Sweep is another member of the Hayes yard, and one can imagine Lee has seen quite enough of his old boss to last him for this week.

Lee also has each-way claims in the fourth race with Tabbris, and has gone for the 10 pound claim of leading apprentice Alex Lai Hoi-wing. After the allowance, Tabbris comes into this Class Four contest with only 119 pounds to carry, a useful handicap for such a consistent horse in this grade.