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Sunny primed for one last fling
The big events may be over but the season's not finished yet for Classic Mile hero Sunny Sing, who will attempt to be part of the celebrations in the Class One race at the final meeting of the term on July 2.
The John Moore-trained galloper trialled attractively over 1,050 metres on the all-weather course on Tuesday and worked home well for second to the enigmatic Egyptian Ra (Brett Prebble) on a slushy track.
Eric Saint-Martin, who has a great association with Sunny Sing, was the pilot in the trial.
The British-bred galloper got back in the small field but made good ground when Saint-Martin peeled him to the outside on straightening.
The weather conditions were definitely not the best and there was plenty of kickback as a disincentive for horses that weren't in front.
But Sunny Sing got down to business professionally in the straight, and, although asked for an effort by Saint-Martin, gave sufficient response to satisfy connections that he's up to the task of maintaining his form in two weeks time.
Sunny Sing has not raced since his seventh to Bullish Luck in the Group One Champions Mile (1,600m) on May 7, beaten by only 31/4 lengths.
Egyptian Ra took this heat easily and emphatically, but getting him right on race day is not quite so easy.
The New Zealand-bred galloper is a real talent but his general waywardness and intractability has proved a giant headache for three top trainers, with John Size and Danny Shum Chap-shing coming before current mentor David Hall.
What was interesting is that rather than fight Egyptian Ra in a bid to make him settle, Prebble allowed the chestnut to run along early and he seemed a lot more comfortable with the change in tactics.
Promising Danehill three-year-old Grand Supreme, ridden by Douglas Whyte, went well for third but the eye-catching performance came from stayer Greenessy (Howard Cheng Yue-tin), who charged home late for fourth after being tailed off last coming to the home turn.
The second heat taught us nothing, with Hall's Swift Germania (Robbie Fradd) cantering up to win untested from four others in very slow time.
Yesterday's three heats over 1,200m were run under much better conditions and perhaps the most interesting performance was that of Dr Possi to win the second trial in the fastest time - 1:11.5.
This was 0.3 seconds quicker than former Group One winner and noted open company sprinter Figures (Way Leung Ming-wai) took in taking the opening heat by 21/2 lengths from last-start winner Kaiser's Choix (Shane Dye).
Dr Possi, handled by 10-pound claimer Terry Wong Chi-wai, was either leader or joint leader with lower-grade speedster Smarty Face for most of the journey and ultimately won by a length.
Classy Supreme Gains (Douglas Whyte) closed off well to finish third.
Dr Possi broke through to win in Class Four over 1,200m at Happy Valley in January, but his subsequent elevation into Class Three did nothing for him.
He has now finished ninth or worse at each of his last five starts and even the addition of blinkers did not bring about any improvement. But the pleasing part of this trial win was that the Dr Possi has rediscovered his early speed.
HORSES TO FOLLOW:
Greenessy, Supreme Gains.