Four early favourites bode well for C-Team

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 April, 2005, 12:00am

Tony Cruz and Felix Coetzee are having the season to end all seasons and their army of followers expect the show to go right on at Sha Tin this afternoon, judging by the way they've hammered four of the stable's main contenders overnight.

Naturally, champion Silent Witness is the star, backed down to a near money-back dividend already in the Chairman's Sprint Prize. But there are two more odds-on favourites in Cruz land on the 10-event card.

Russian Pearl is a prohibitive $18 favourite in the HSBC Premier Cup, although it's likely the Derby runner-up will drift out as rival punters try to take advantage of the skewed odds available about other fancied contenders.

And Very Fit, the rapidly-emerging half-brother to Silent Witness, is a $17 favourite for the final event, a Class Two contest over his pet distance of 1,600 metres. However, don't expect anything much more generous here as Very Fit looks a star on the rise and should have their measure once again.

Cruz and Coetzee have combined to win two of the three griffin races decided so far this year, with Lucky Unicorn, and the C-Team has been made favourite to extend that sequence with Expeditious ($22) in the opening race.

Expeditious, a three-year-old by Anabaa from a daughter of champion Nashwan, has had two trials and was quite impressive in the second of them up the Sha Tin straight. However, he won't be getting things his own way here as the Tony Millard-trained two-year-old Calcando (Craig Williams) looks particularly dangerous.

Calcando is by Cape Cross, the same sire as Millard's last season top griffin Sharki, whose credits included an upset win over Great Win over the same course and distance.