Turbo has power to burn off rivals

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 October, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 1994, 12:00am

CLASSIC Turbo looks worth a decent bet in tonight's third event on the Happy Valley equitrack.

The return of the dreaded dirt will hardly have them coming to the city venue in their droves.

But occasionally it can throw up something worth a wager and this indeed looks to be the case with the Derek Cruz-trained grey who is very much a specialist on the equitrack.

His penchant for equitrack revolves around his fine burst of early speed as so often to lead is to win on the artificial surface.

This has been said so many times before but it really is worth stressing once again.

When it comes to betting on the equitrack, the most fundamental thing is to look for horses with basic speed.

It is also worth noting that experience of the surface counts for plenty as does racing experience in general.

Time and time again, young, promising types that have acquitted themselves very well on the Sha Tin or Happy Valley grass come into these equitrack events at shortish prices and find themselves all at sea from the moment the gates open.

Classic Turbo has the speed and the experience and the course and distance form to make him stand out in the third from Winning Vincent who looks the main quinella danger.

Last season, Classic Turbo didn't get the opportunity to shine on the equitrack but go back to the season before and his form stands out.

For instance he had a short head verdict to his name over the very speedy All-Winners from a handicap mark of 85 in Class Two, the pair pulling clear of the third-placed Admirals Run who was then performing much better than he is these days.

Prior to that Classic Turbo had beaten the equally speedy Echo over tonight's course and distance by half a length, tracking Echo into the straight, as he did All-Winners, before wearing him down in the final 50 metres.

One of the worries for punters tonight may be the booking of apprentice Danny L. T. Leung. However, it is worth noting that Leung was on board Classic Turbo for that defeat of All-Winners so he knows the horse pretty well.

From a handicapping point of view, Classic Turbo looks very well treated indeed as he competes from a rating of 70 which compares favourably from that last winning mark of 85.

Classic Turbo should also be in peak condition as he has had two runs back, putting in a creditable run down the straight 1,000-metre course - which is not really his ideal track - to finish second to Win's A Gift last time out.

Winning Vincent had plenty of ability when trained in Ireland but has been troubled by leg problems for much of his stay in Hong Kong.

He got away with one on the equitrack last season and there was much to like about the way he shaped last time out down the straight.

He actually finished fifth in the race won by Win's A Gift, beaten a couple of lengths by Classic Turbo with whom is now three pounds better off.

Jockey K. H. 'Little' Hung was by no means hard on Winning Vincent once it was obvious that he wasn't going to trouble the judge and he should be all the better for that pipe-opener as his legs make him a hard horse to get fit in the mornings.

Since then he has gone very pleasingly, rounding off his preparation with a sweet 800-metre burst on Monday morning that suggested he is now in tip-top shape.

Interestingly, Tony Cruz seems to prefer Profit Taker to Classic Turbo for some reason.

Profit Taker has blistering early speed and this may be the key to his choice. But he finds it hard to finish off his races, even on the equitrack, and he could be worn down by Classic Turbo from the top of the straight.

Cruz's presence on Profit Taker should also ensure that Classic Turbo starts at a price better than his 'true' chance of winning - i.e. he could well be a value bet. And that's what we are all searching for.

Looking at speedy, experienced types, Bogie's Pride makes plenty of appeal in the last even though his racing experience does not take in the equitrack.

It would be ideal if he had run on the surface before, but his basic speed and his racing experience suggest that he should adjust well to the dirt. Indeed, it could allow him to run to his full potential. He certainly worked well enough in his final gallop on Monday.