Master Power and Happy Zero ready for late-season fling
While all eyes were on Happy Zero in yesterday's opening trial at Sha Tin, trainer John Moore again underlined the depth of his team by winning with his second-string triallist, Master Power.
Darren Beadman handled Happy Zero and Howard Cheng Yue-tin rode Master Power.
Master Power surprised by racing more forward than normal and bolted to the lead on the outside of leader Ocean Tranquil on the circle.
In the straight, there was only ever going to be one winner as Master Power maintained his advantage to score by 21/4 lengths from Ocean Tranquil, with Happy Zero working home for third without ever coming off the bridle.
Master Power has been freshened up since finishing fifth to Hawkes Bay in the Hong Kong-Macau Trophy on March 1. He was a first-up winner over 1,400m at Sha Tin on the opening day of the season but, even more significantly, has won at the back end of the previous two seasons as well. Ocean Tranquil has been off the scene since September, being sidelined after just two starts for the term.
After his last start, he pulled up with a significant soundness issue, with veterinary surgeons diagnosing severe arthritis and a left front tendon injury.
The New Zealand-bred chestnut, a son of the 1998 Golden Slipper runner-up Align, has had his share of problems. In November 2007, he bled from both nostrils and was sidelined by stewards for six months.
Ocean Tranquil is now with the Gary Ng Ting-keung stable and should do well on the evidence of this forward display.
Happy Zero is a quality galloper, who won at his first four starts, was beaten at his fifth (when possibly backing up too quickly), and got back into the groove at his sixth start.
The big, black son of Danzero did it all himself, with Beadman not moving a muscle at any stage. Happy Zero has not raced since April 5 and has appreciated the freshen-up.