Gear changes put Whisky Power back in winning mood
'Back to the Future' was the working theme for sprinter Whisky Power at Sha Tin yesterday when the gelding turned around an ordinary patch of form with a strong win under barrier trial conditions.
Although Whisky Power (Way Leung Ming-wai) had only a short head to spare at the finish of the 1,050m all-weather trial, the fast winning time and a good spread of margins showed this to be a solid effort.
This form was given a lot of currency because runner-up Lucky Amici, from the Sean Woods yard, is a Private Purchase with black-type form in Europe and has already shown himself to be in good order with previous impressive barrier trial form.
Whiskey Power and Lucky Amici (Jason Winks) engaged at the top of the straight and drew each other out, pulling a margin of 33/4 lengths over third-placed Chirac (Alex Lai Hoi-wing).
Whisky Power won down the Sha Tin straight earlier in the season for Olivier Doleuze, sporting a combination of a hood and blinkers.
After one more run, trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai took the blinkers off and Whisky Power's four runs since have been lamentable.
Yesterday, the hood and blinkers returned in tandem and so did the dark bay's form, with Whisky Power taking up the running soon after the start and leading the rest of the way.
Lucky Amici pressed the issue in the concluding stages and his effort showed he is ready to go to the races and be competitive.
This was Lucky Amici's third trial. On his first appearance, he won over 1,000m down the straight on turf on January 20, and then he finished second to Class Two galloper Ultra Fantasy in quick time, also down the straight.
Lucky Amici, a colt by Deportivo, raced six times as a juvenile in Europe last year under the name of Senor Mirasol for three wins and two minor placings.
He was a well-travelled youngster, too, journeying to France for a third in the Prix Robert Papin (Gr 2), and then to Ireland where he won the Listed Tipperary Stakes over the straight five-furlong course on soft ground.
Whisky Power's form tapered off after his lone win earlier this term. He has been well beaten in last (starts): 5