Fastabob not out of Cup equation
FASTABOB worked pleasingly in readiness for next week's Stewards' Cup at yesterday's Sha Tin trackwork session.
The set-weights mile event is building up into a terrific race with the last three Derby winners - River Verdon, Sound Print and Helene Star - involved and there cannot be too many contests to be found where such a clash can arise.
Then there is Fastabob.
It is, however, understood that Winning Partners or Deerfield are not likely to accept. They are both racing this afternoon and, while trainer Neville Begg is fighting a race against time to qualify them for the International events in a month's time, it is not really his style to back them up should something go amiss today.
Yesterday, Fastabob went out to work a good few lengths behind Begg's Clear Spray. But Fastabob has been going so well, he almost ran him down on the way to the line.
The work suggests Fastabob is in top form, despite showing some mucus in a test after his last gallop, which forced him out of today's feature Hermes Cup.
The question mark remains how much Fastabob will find off the bit when pitched in against the best.
He travels superbly well in his work and in his races, but he has only one victory to his name here and that was merely a defeat of Star Of Lihlin.
Keep a close eye on Clear Spray. He needed his first run of the season when not shaping at all badly behind Winning Chance and was noted going really well in a subsequent trial.
His current rating of 60 in Class Three gives him every chance of winning in the near future, especially now that Darren Beadman has taken over the ride.
There was also encouraging work from David Oughton's Gay Pegasus II, although the cat is out of the bag here following his devastating first-time-out display where he mowed down Super Tension in the final 50 metres to win going away like a most progressive individual.
Yesterday, Gay Pegasus II enjoyed a solid hitout with stablemate Diamond Treasure. The latter appeared to just shade the work but then he is a much more speedy type.
Gary Ng put Po On King through a pipe-opener in readiness for today's opening event in which he holds very solid quinella claims, while Cosing now looks fully fit.
The solitary all-weather trial saw a win for stayer Race To Win who is worth noting back on his favourite equitrack surface.
Ivan Allan's first-season Irish import Wonderful Way confirmed some pleasing gallop impressions in this heat, showing good speed, though he does not appear to be fully wound up.
Trial result: 1, RACE TO WIN (J. K. S. Ho); 2, Natal (D. Gauci); 3, Top Glory (C. K. Tse). Others (in finishing order): Shyana, Wonderful Way, Vital Point, Zakarad, Celestial King, Gold Peach, Seattle Wind. Time: 1.10.0 (23.9). Distances: 2 lengths, head.Winner trained by Wong Siu-tan.