Ng's Irish import a picture of Health
HEALTH First looked set to break through for a win before the season ends when working strongly on the main all-weather surface at Sha Tin yesterday morning.
Peter Ng Bik-kuen's first-season Irish import had caught the eye before his first run in the territory with a series of pleasing hitouts in the morning.
But a paddock inspection revealed that he was decidedly above himself in condition and he duly ran like a horse needing the outing when unplaced behind Hercules over 1,400 metres.
He then had a barrier trial down the straight and a couple of solid gallops before staying on well to run a good third to Lucky Glory over 1,200 metres.
That run should have brought him to near peak condition and yesterday he was noted just shading his workout with Namjong Again who is himself a very fluent mover at the track.
The pair of them came through their final 800 metres of this 1,200-metre pipe-opener in a very pleasing 46.8 seconds.
Patrick Biancone is ending the season with a flourish and yesterday he was noted using the same tactics which worked with his well-backed Wednesday night winner, Forever Ahead.
The morning before Forever Ahead's triumph he gave him a solid workout down the straight in company with another of his Valley runners, Partner.
Forever Ahead duly came out and won comfortably under a polished ride from Eric Legrix who has quickly established himself as one of the most charming guys to be found anywhere in racing.
Yesterday Biancone waited until after the barrier trials were over to sprint his private purchase griffin, World Happiness, down the home stretch.
He quickened past Diamond Head in the final 100 metres as they clocked a decent 22.9 seconds for their last 400 metres off some pacework.
This was the second time that World Happiness has worked better than Diamond Head this week though it must be pointed out that he is in a strong griffin event this afternoon and is probably no more than a quinella chance.
Biancone also asked his Super Fellow to come through a 400-metre burst and his response was a comfortable 24.4 seconds. He is ready to run his best race of the season in the sixth event but again there look to be one or two superior chances such as Auto-Matching and Ever Joy.
Brian Kan Ping-chee has been doing things his way for years. He's one of life's great eccentrics as well as being one of the finest trainers in the territory and the place would be so much poorer without him.
Yesterday he asked African Warrior to work through a testing 1,200 metres in one minute 12.7 under Felix Coetzee, despite the fact that he races in today's third event where he will take some beating.
African Warrior certainly worked well, looking a bit more relaxed than in previous gallops. He should be hard to beat.
Peter Ng also took both trials run on the all-weather yesterday. Golden Emperor won a fast but modest first heat while Lucky Clover went well in taking the second in which Cosmolife and Flowers World were not put under pressure.