Carter a wise booking for Allan stayer
By ROBIN PARKE
STEPPED up to a distance that looks ideal, stayer Ka Fook will take plenty of beating in an interesting sixth event at Happy Valley tonight.
Ka Fook was a very promising griffin when with Bruce Hutchison and, to some extent, has fulfilled expectations. His most notable success was undoubtedly a win over Northern Fireball early last season when still with Hutchison.
Along with six others, Ka Fook moved to Ivan Allan and the former Singapore-based ace has the horse ready to run a top race tonight.
Ironically, his biggest threat could well be Spirits Bay, trained by Hutchison, and ideally suited by the 2,230 metres at the city track. He has won at the Valley before and over longer.
Allan has booked English rider Gary Carter for Ka Fook in the absence of Basil Marcus who is held to bottomweight Chater Star by his retaining stable.
It is another astute move from the wily Allan. Carter and so many of his compatriots are completely at home riding in distance events and Ka Fook will get plenty of assistance from on top tonight.
Ka Fook has had one excellent run already this season, a Valley mile race which has served to prime him right up for this Classes Three and Four event.
On that occasion he finished 21/2 lengths off Goodcape Treasure over a distance which now appears too short for the American-bred four-year-old.
Ka Fook did start over 2,000 metres at the back end of last season and hit the front at the turn before fading in the run home. It was a run which might raise a doubt over his ability to stay this trip but two points should be noted - the race was run on soft ground and it was the end of a fairly exacting season for the galloper.
Spirits Bay is a very live chance as he put in a top run at his first start of the season when a fast-finishing 31/4 lengths from Dragons Desert on opening day.
Spirits Bay has been working well for this event and should hold Miss PIggy on an end-of-season run last campaign.
On that occasion the Hutchison-trained stayer was receiving three pounds from Miss Piggy and beat him a length and a half. He is a pound worse off tonight so they are very close on the book.
Cruz rides Miss Piggy and the galloper's last effort over 1,600 metres on equitrack was a superb run. Miss Piggy must go close.
Chater Star may have his work cut out particularly on a fast track while Freedom Reigns and Thor Win, handy stayers both, go into this without the benefit of a previous run. That makes it very hard.