Cruz control to take Joyful Delight to bank
By ROBIN PARKE
TRAINER Peter Tse Yan-sid has snared Tony Cruz for the ride on Joyful Delight in the first leg of tomorrow night's Double Trio at Happy Valley and punters should take the hint.
Joyful Delight looks good banker material for the first leg of the exotic bet going on one earlier run this season and his last effort, course and distance, when apprentice-ridden.
There are few better practitioners of the riding art than local idol Cruz when on top of his form and he gave a couple of very polished displays at Sha Tin on Saturday.
He has an enormous task in overhauling Basil Marcus to win this year's title but his recent link-up afresh with brother Derek has brought more horses into play and the championship is not yet a one-horse race.
Joyful Delight resumed after a seven-week spell on January 5 and could have needed the run when fourth to Mr Nice Guy in a similar event. In his earlier November run, when ridden by Dave Penna, he came home strongly to take second place behind Love Of Freedom, topweight in tomorrow night's event.
Joyful Delight is seven pounds better off with Love Of Freedom for a length and a quarter and with Cruz up he can definitely reverse form.
In a miserable equitrack programme with just 44 horses involved, the Double Trio races hold about the only interest on the six-event card.
The claims of Casablanca in this first leg can be endorsed but not with a great deal of conviction.
The Ivan Allan-trained mare has become a disappointment but in her favour is a third placing, course and distance, for Frankie F. C. Lor earlier this season.
Last time out over 1,800 metres at Sha Tin she was ridden up on the pace but did not run on. Herein lies a potential problem for Walter Swinburn, who rides tomorrow night.
A fast equitrack surface is not conducive to horses coming from behind but it must be queried whether Casablanca enjoys forcing tactics. Astute judge Swinburn may have to pursue an in-between course and hope that Casablanca will run on strongly in the straight.
Badly drawn though he is in the extreme outside of the nine-runner field, equitrack-loving Gagne Vite is a threat and a definite DT consideration. He finished on really well for regular rider Raymond K. L. Tsui last time over 1,400 metres on the Sha Tin grass and edged Source Of Life out of the quinella in a race won by Mehrban.
With the Brian Kan Ping-chee stable in excellent form at the moment it would be foolhardy to ignore the claims of Love Of Freedom while veteran Nelson's Pet turned in a much better run on the grass last time and might be a squeak at good odds.
The second leg of the DT is a Class Three dash involving eight runners but it's no cut-and-dried affair.
Half the field are course and distance winners with best times that bring them all within a couple of lengths of each other.
Without equitrack form but very fast over the short Valley trip on grass is Profit Taker, who will be ridden by Cruz.
Third Time Lucky, from the David Oughton stable, gets the nod as banker in this test of speed and he should run in the first three.