Sparkling Lloyd leaves trial rivals in his wake
There is plenty of spring in the step of jockey Jeff Lloyd at the moment and the South African racked up a treble to make a clean-sweep of the barrier trials yesterday morning after he claimed a double at the Sha Tin meeting on Sunday.
Lloyd partnered Vital Flyer and Kick Serve to wins in first and third heats for trainer Michael Chang Chun-wai, and led throughout on the John Size-trained Mandarin to win the second trial.
All three trials were conducted over the 1,050m course on the all-weather surface with Vital Flyer clocked the fastest time of the morning at 62.30 seconds, with a 1 3/4-length win over Elegance Desire.
It was the third placed 67-rater, Common Goal, who caught the eye in the opener, however, and Andy Leung Ting-wah's grey responded well to Brett Prebble's squeeze to pick up plenty of ground in the straight, after dropping out to last early.
Mandarin clocked the second fastest time at 62.52 seconds, and the gelding did it comfortably from the front, with Namjong Fighters weaving through to finish in fifth position, the best of the chasers.
Namjong Fighters finished third to Polygold at his latest run for trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak, and the way he trialled off his Class Five mark of 37, indicated he might be able to continue the stable's excellent run of form.
Kick Serve stopped the clock at 63.11 seconds in winning the final heat, 1? lengths ahead of Fortune Together and Breaking Point, both for Tsui.
Last Friday's trial session featured a small but select group of 11 split into two heats, with the two Tony Cruz-trained California horses featuring prominently in their respective breeze ups.
California Choice completed his 1,200m dirt trial in the time of 71.34 seconds, shading his Group One winning stablemate California Memory, who ambled over the same route in 71.72 seconds.
The two horses travelled comfortably throughout under suspended rider Matthew Chadwick, and the trials indicated both have maintained their winning condition.