A matter of Pride for Moore stable
By Racing Editor LAWRENCE WADEY
SEATTLE PRIDE (Nap) looks betting material in today's seventh event at Sha Tin.
Seattle Pride is one of any number of young, lightly-raced private purchase griffins from last season that are poised to provide trainer John Moore and his new jockey Brian York with a stack of winners over the coming months.
The American-bred has already won in griffin company and he was then noted staying on really well when eighth to Beyond Control over today's course and distance of 1,200 metres on his final start of last season.
It was a run which had future winner written all over it, particularly as it came on a day when there was a pronounced racing bias to those up on the speed.
In these circumstances, Seattle Pride had little chance coming from off the pace.
He may again find that 1,200 metres prevents him from revealing his full potential but he may not have to do so to beat an essentially modest field where there do not appear to be too many big dangers.
What's more, Seattle Pride is making his seasonal reappearance and is blinkered for the first time.
These two factors should mean that he can prevail over 1,200 metres as so many horses sprint well when fresh and blinkers so often sharpen up a horse, making them race more keenly.
Seattle Pride has also been working extremely well in his preparation for this race.
He went nicely in a trial around a fortnight ago, showing pleasing speed before just knocking up over the last 100 metres on the main all-weather track.
Quite often an early-season trial can really bring a horse on. Witness Perfect Sunshine who went moderately in a heat down the straight 1,000 metres (admittedly without blinkers) but then worked much better before landing a considerable touch over his favourite 1,235-metre run at Happy Valley.
Seattle Pride seems to be a similar case in point as his gallop last Saturday morning in company with the much higher rated Super Bomb had a real winning ring to it.
He showed as much zip as his Class Two stablemate and went to the line going equally as well.
It looks hard to find the quinella in this seventh event and it may well be best just to back Seattle Pride win and place.
There is a good quinella in the preceding event, the feature Hong Kong University Alumni Association Challenge Cup.
This promises to be a fast-run 1,400-metre contest which will be all but over by the time you've read the race title.
It looks to be very much a toss up between Gold Yue Yee and Electric Flash as Look Who's Here's recent second came in an essentially uncompetitive event.
Brian Kan Ping-chee's Gold Yue Yee was hampered on the opening day of the season behind Sure Win King when he also failed to see out the Sha Tin mile.
He will be much more adept now that he's brought back in distance and is another who has been catching the eye in the mornings.
Electric Flash didn't get a clear run when switched to the inside rail when third to Dashing last Saturday night.
He probably wouldn't have run the quinella but he would have been right upsides Quick Action had more of a gap materialised.
The way he was finishing over 1,200 metres indicated that he will be suited by today's 1,400-metre trip and he has looked a much improved performer in his work this season.
Indeed, last campaign he always shaped as if he would come into his own this time round.
Look Who's Here had a outside draw and a fierce early pace to blame for his defeat by Lionheart last Saturday night.
But that came in by no means as tough a contest as he lines up in here.
There looks to be another good quinella bet earlier in the day, this time in the third event where Ivan Allan's Star Lap is just fancied to hold off Patrick Biancone's Aqua Princess.
Star Lap has the advantage of an inside draw which should prevent any of those antics which saw him running off the track at Happy Valley on his only start last season.
Aqua Princess is a filly with a touch of quality about her and she could still prove a very big danger to Star Lap indeed, despite being drawn out in the wilds in barrier 14.
There's nothing like that old maxim 'horses for courses' when it comes to running down the straight, which is why Tiger's Spirit should be hard to beat in the fourth.
The opposition in this sprint also looks weaker than Tiger's Spirit commonly encounters.