Spinning puts on some show for Hayes
Owner Ling Chiu-shing made his first trip to the winner's stall for 21/2 years in the wake of Spinning City's triumph in yesterday's Members Cup, and the timing could not have been better as his former trainer David Hayes is in town.
Apart from this six-year-old, whose last win was for Hayes in November 4, 2003, the popular Australian was also the trainer of Ling's best horse, the triple Group One winner Charming City.
Noted for his versatility as well as an explosive finishing burst, Charming City won the 2001 Classic Mile under Shane Dye and two legs of the sprinters' triple crown in 2002 - the Bauhinia Sprint Trophy for Basil Marcus and the Chairman's Sprint Prize at the hands of Dwayne Dunn.
When Hayes left Hong Kong at the end of last season to head home to Australia, David Hall took over the training of Spinning City and the gelding has been a model of consistency for him. 'He's been terribly honest, but hasn't had a lot of luck this season at his position in the ratings,' Hall explained.
'He's been placed five times from six previous starts for me, but he's run second to Armada and the second behind Floral Pegasus. He just can't beat that calibre of horse from where he is in the handicap at present.'
Yesterday, without an Armada-like star in sight, Spinning City had his moment in the spotlight and made no mistake, capitalising on a gun ride by Brett Prebble and racing clear to score by 13/4 lengths from Kimbo Kid (Way Leung Ming-wai).
Although Spinning City had been racing mainly over 1,400m and last start over 1,650m at Happy Valley, Prebble now has little doubt where the Spinning World gelding's strengths lie.
'He's at his best as a fresh horse at 1,200 metres,' Prebble said. And despite the fact that he was coming back in distance, the two-time champion Melbourne jockey had no doubt he'd be occupying a forward spot.
'I bounced him out of the stalls this week and breezed him down 400 metres,' Prebble said.
'The way he began there, and the way he mustered speed, I wasn't worried about getting too far back today despite it being only 1,200 metres.
'In fact, I'd have been disappointed if he'd settled further back than sixth.'
The victory should have cemented Hall's top-10 position on the trainers' table, taking him to 29 victories and ninth spot, two wins clear of David Ferraris, Almond Lee Yee-tat and Manfred Man Ka-leung (27 each).