Fair Trade ready to unleash his power first up
On sound legs Fair Trade would have been lining up in one of the middle distance features on Sunday, but the talented gelding will instead be racing in the Class One Dublin Handicap (1,400m) on Cathay Pacific International Day.
The high-quality import and Derby runner was the standout at yesterday's barrier trial session as jockey Gerald Mosse and trainer Caspar Fownes prepare for a first-up raid with the injury plagued galloper.
Sesamoid, tendon and fetlock injuries were the cruel blows that have separated Fair Trade from the elite, but they didn't seem to hold him back from turning in a great closing sprint in winning his 1,050m heat in 62.12 seconds.
It was an ominous warning shot from Fownes, who relishes producing his gallopers on the back of a decent hit-out, and punters would be well advised to give extra weight to Fair Trade's presence on Sunday.
Mosse was happy to let the horse tag the field into the straight but, fresh from eight months on the sidelines, Fair Trade was climbing over heels to have a crack at the leaders on the turn.
The Frenchman obliged and gave the son of Danewin a little leather to blow the cobwebs out in the dash home, and the pair made good ground to pick up Brett Prebble and the David Hall-trained True Valour on the line.
The second heat was taken out by the lowly rated Tony Millard-trained Gold City, who led all the way in his 1,050m heat. Off his current mark of 33, a similar run on race day might be enough for him to turn the corner and win in Class Five and, after generally racing with cover when in the care of Ricky Yiu Poon-fai, perhaps the new stable and the leading tactics will prove a winning formula in the bottom grade.