The ready to win stable
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright, at Sha Tin today, he'll get things right!
A little rhyme won't do any harm for the cause of Irish-bred three-year-old Tiger Ridge, who was just nosed out last week at Happy Valley but will make complete amends at Sha Tin this afternoon.
Tiger Ridge has now had two runs for the Ready To Win stable and is primed to win. In nine out of 10 occasions, the youngster would have been in the winner's circle last week but a freakish ride from Douglas Whyte perfectly complemented the training of John Size to turn Tiger Ridge's victory into defeat.
Interestingly, Tiger Ridge did not rate to his best last week, meaning there is a bit more gas in the tank. And the fitness benefit he will have derived from last week's race should be exactly what's required to make sure he breaks through today.
Unfortunately, last week was one of our less memorable days at the races. Three of our horses - Golden Mile, Great Win and In The Bank - performed dismally, finishing at the polar opposite end of the field to what we believed possible when we admitted them to the stable.
There will be no prolonged post mortems here. These horses either perform up to expectations or they are culled. We don't like excuses and those who keep making them for horses end up with holes in their pockets.
So, Golden Mile, Great Win and In The Bank are all dismissed, without gratitude.
We also have a fourth defection from the stable: Plenty of Heart. This promising galloper was reported as a bleeder during trackwork recently and will have a compulsory break.
We now have four stable additions:
GRAND MASTER, B g 3yrs, Fasliev - Glendre, trainer David Hayes. This fellow looked the goods in winning a qualifying trial last month and only the moderate record of horses on debut in Hong Kong stopped us putting him into Ready To Win at that stage.
Since, then, Grand Master ran a cracking second to Fashion Jewellery down the straight on debut in a performance that had 'be on me next time' written all over it.
Grand Master has been well schooled, and both his trainer and jockey hold him in high esteem.
ZABEBE. B g 3yrs, Zabeel - In The Vain, trainer John Size. Normally, at Ready To Win, we are looking for horses that are ready to take that step to becoming a winner. Zababe is a last-start winner at Happy Valley - we regret not being on him from the start but we won't be making the same mistake again.
This is a very smart horse. Progeny of super sire Zabeel are normally at their best over distances much longer than last week's 1,000 metres, but Zabebe has a brand of speed which makes it look so easy.
Despite starting from barrier 11, Whyte had Zabebe up on the heels of the leaders within 200 metres, and the race was effectively over a long way from home. This was not a particularly high-rating race but there is a lot of upside to Zabebe, who should follow the example of many of Size's progressive young horses and just keep winning.
SUMMERVILLE POWER. B g 4yrs, Zabeel - Tea Party; trainer, Francis Lui Kin-wai. Yet another member of the Zabeel clan, which is white hot in Australia at the moment following the Cox Plate win of emerging star Savabeel.
Summerville Power looked all at sea on the tight Happy Valley course at his Hong Kong debut last week but did well under the circumstances for fourth to all-the-way winner Victory Marble.
This fellow will come on enormously for that run - remember, he started at odds of 25-1 - and doesn't have to make much improvement to be winning
DASHING THUNDER. Ch g 4yrs, Peintre Celebre - Happy Landing, trainer, Dennis Yip Chor-hong. Rarely do we see horses come from such a low base, to where Dashing Thunder is today, in such a short space of time. The Irish-bred chestnut is simply hanging out to win a race and that was emphasised on Wednesday night when he was knocked down (accidentally) two times in the straight.
Dashing Thunder may not have been able to put all his energy into that finishing burst, due to circumstances beyond his control, but he is now loaded like a coiled spring and Ready To Win at the next time of asking.
Dashing Thunder, Floral Dynamite, Grand Master, Hip Hip Hooray, Kaiser's Prize, Lightning Star, Sharki, Summerville Power, Sunrise Rainbow, Tiger Ridge, Win For All, Zabebe, Total 12.
Race 2: Grand Master (No 4) Race 5: Win For All (No 4) Race 6: Sharki (No 4) Race 8: Tiger Ridge (No 1) Race 10: Floral Dynamite (No 10). To them and to you, Good luck!