'Gear change' may equal attitude change

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 November, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 November, 2004, 12:00am

There is an important 'gear change' in today's $3 million Cathay Pacific Mile Trial which you won't find among the normal notifications. The John Moore-trained Stay Young, who turned on a mulish display and held up the start on October 30 for a considerable time, lost his manhood a few days later.

Moore had left the Irish-bred as a colt for as long as possible, to help him mature, but his bad behaviour at the stalls at his first run back, despite the patience and persuasive handling of jockey Michael Rodd, was the last straw for Moore, who called for the doctor shortly after consulting owner Luk King Tin.

Without all that natural testosterone pumping through his veins, it was only normal that Stay Young should peel off some muscle bulk and that's exactly what he's done. Today, he'll scale 33 pounds lighter than at his last start. Stay Young is an interesting runner on two scores. Firstly, despite his relative youth, he's already created a good record in Hong Kong, where he's raced nine times for two wins and three minor placings.

Significantly, most of Stay Young's form has been over the Sha Tin metric mile - the course and distance of today's assignment - including his biggest win, the Sha Tin Mile Trophy (Gr 3) on June 12, in which he claimed the prized scalp of champion Electronic Unicorn.

Gear changes will form an important part of punters' reckoning in the opening event, a Class Five race over 1,400m.

Topweight Spectacular Times tumbles into the bottom class after just three runs, and he will sport a visor for the first time. Number 2 in the book, Telepride, also takes the class drop after just four runs and trainer Caspar Fownes has added blinkers to his racing gear (second time).

The David Hayes-trained Arigato disappointed last start and will have full vision this afternoon, with Hayes electing to remove the blinkers. Well-bred three-year-old Legionnaire will wear a shadow roll for the first time, while disappointing Wing Foot, from the yard of Danny Shum Chap-shing, will wear blinkers for the first time.