Lee living up to former master's expectations
David Hayes would certainly approve of the way his protege Almond Lee Yee-tat has exploded out of the starting barriers this season, racking up three winners already and poised to add to that tally at Sha Tin this afternoon.
Lee won with Booming City and Skyview Bar last Sunday as well as the heavily-bet Wine Win at the city venue on Wednesday night, and credited Hayes with being the inspiration behind Skyview Bar's first-up win at 1,000 metres.
While running milers first-up at the minimum trip does not happen often these days, especially after Hayes returned home to Australia and Ivan Allan retired, Lee expertly found the right balance of fitness and freshness with Skyview Bar and landed a win that deserves recognition.
Today at Sha Tin, Lee will take a strong team of 10 to the races and his partnership with the dynamic Frenchman Gerald Mosse (pictured) should again be to the fore.
Holi Ravioli (race seven) could be the pick of them, but Lee also has winning chances in Champion Pioneer (race three), Lucky Dragon (race five), Meridian Pride (race six) and Top Honor (race nine), while Profiting Champion (race eight) is something of a query runner.
On last night's 7pm tote call, the early shoppers had punted three Lee-trained horses into favouritism - Champion Pioneer ($25), Meridian Pride ($32) and Holi Ravioli ($41).
Shane Dye has the mount on Champion Pioneer, while Meridian Pride and Holi Ravioli will be handled by Mosse, whose association with the yard goes back to his time as stable jockey for Hayes, when Lee was the champion Australian handler's assistant trainer.