Fortune General looks right at home on the dirt
Trainer John Size produced last season's unbeaten and this season's unsighted Entrapment for a cosy barrier trial win on the Sha Tin all-weather track yesterday morning, but the master trainer will also be pleased with the way in which the 63-rater Fortune General travelled to finish second to Electronic Motion in the other heat.
Fortune General travelled wide throughout under a relaxed Douglas Whyte before towing his way to the line in impressive fashion with zero encouragement to go with Electronic Motion, who was being persuaded by Howard Cheng Yue-tin's whip.
Size's galloper, a three-year-old Johannesburg gelding, looked right at home on the dirt, and despite winning his only race on the turf at Sha Tin, the softer artificial surface may eventually prove his preferred track.
Entrapment stopped the clock with comfort at 62.28 seconds for his 1,050m heat, posting almost exactly the same time as the other heat winner Electronic Motion, who clocked 62.30 seconds. Off his rating mark of 115, Entrapment has limited options remaining this season, with the Premier Cup over 1,400m on June 19, or a Class One 1,600m event on July 10 literally the only choices Size has.
The more likely option is that Size keeps Entrapment for next term, but it is good to see this quality animal showing signs that he has overcome his mystery ailment and is getting close to full fitness.
The highlight of the Happy Valley trials last Saturday was Derek Cruz's lightly raced Al Prince, who won his 1,200m heat under Derek Leung Ka-chun in stylish fashion.
Al Prince has just had the one race-day outing, finishing last over 1,000m at Sha Tin on May 5, so this effort showed good improvement.
Before arriving, the 80-rated son of Holy Roman Emperor had won one race from nine starts in Ireland when under the guidance of Aiden O'Brien.
He may need to drop significantly in the ratings before he figures on the winners' list, as many European imports do.