Applause can bring cheer to punters
By ROBIN PARKE
COURSE and distance winner Applause looks the answer in a tricky first leg to the Double Trio at Sha Tin tomorrow night.
With champions elect, trainer Ivan Allan and jockey Basil Marcus involved, there's no ''get rich quick'' scenario surrounding the six-year-old gelding. But as far as a banker for the Double Trio is concerned, he looks the answer and that particular bet could end up paying handsomely.
Applause rattled home in fine style for claimer Stanley K. M. Chin two starts back over this 1,400-metre trip, landing the odds-on laid about him. He was then entrusted to Frankie F. C. Lor over the shorter trip of 1,200 metres and failed to get warm.
Last time out Applause was switched to Happy Valley and over the mile at the city track where he ran creditably for much of the race but did not appear to see out the trip.
Returning to Sha Tin and over this trip, Applause must be a major chance and, in a head-scratching event, should run in the first three and satisfy the banking role requirements.
It would be unwise to leave out last-start winner Racing Ace who has been freshened up nicely for this by trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee who landed a nice touch with this fellow over the Valley mile last time.
He has been badly drawn (11) but if Felix Coetzee can get him into a position during the run, Racing Ace can make his presence felt in the run to the line.
Also badly drawn is youngster Seattle Pride who has his third start following an early griffin success.
There seemed no excuses when he was beaten at his second griffin start and he has been given some time off by trainer John Moore. The American-bred three-year-old is clearly learning about the game and has factors against him tomorrow night, not least the barrier draw (12).
Super Tension ran much better last time out at the Valley and is worth considering along with apparently rejuvenated Nikim.
The French-bred Nikim was off the scene for a long time but has returned recently with two good runs and might be worth following up on here.
Trainer David Oughton has spent a worrying time getting topweight Flying Tiger passed to run in the second leg of the Double Trio.
The Irish import broke through the stalls and was withdrawn at his last planned start and then failed a compulsory barrier trial before finally passing yesterday morning, shortly before declarations.
Hopefully it will all be worthwhile but the three-year-old has an unsatisfactory history at the stalls and may prove a risky bet although his overall form - here and abroad - suggests he's good enough to finish in the frame.