In-form Size and Whyte in line for late-season fling
Respective premiership leaders John Size and Douglas Whyte look set to continue their success right to the end of the season after combining for a number of outstanding barrier trials at Sha Tin yesterday.
The formidable partnership joined forces for five practice gallops, with every runner catching the eye.
On face value, the unextended effort of Ride With The Wind was nothing special in heat one up the straight 1,000m, but the stayer is one to follow.
He finished a well-beaten last behind Easy Winner, who clocked a nippy 59.67 seconds.
But the four-year-old was making his first appearance since a gelding operation, and was a Listed winner at Newmarket over 2,000m and a Group Two placegetter at Royal Ascot over 2,400m when raced as Your Old Pal in England.
Diego looks primed for a forward showing first-up after an impressive third behind speedy Dane Patrol, who claimed barrier two (1,000m) by a widening margin in a time of 59.26 seconds.
Whyte held Diego in the centre of the track before he pulled his way between horses to find the line strongly under his own steam.
Almighty Windpower caught the eye in heat three. Both Size and Whyte will be delighted with how the New Zealand Guineas placegetter, formerly known as Clapton, moved.
He has been in work since February and Size has been building up to that first barrier trial steadily, but you can expect to see this talented galloper in the winner's circle soon.
Almighty Windpower was held together to finish within three lengths of the winner Andiamo, who was also not fully tested.
Stewards passed Almighty Windpower and Sichuan Success, an untried three-year-old, ready to start their careers, and the latter looks a cut above his opening rating of 52 after finishing a hard-held sixth in heat four behind Chain Win.
Showtime placed second to Jolly Bird in a time of 59.91 seconds in heat five and looks ready to resume from his freshen-up in better form than what he has shown up to now.