Allan in Vase double show
WONDERFUL WAY galloped his way into the International Vase picture with an impressive four-length success in the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club Cup at Sha Tin on Saturday.
With no data to directly formulate a standard time for the 2,400-metre trip, it is impossible to be adamant about the exact worth of the performance on the clock.
However, using an estimated standard time projected from the facts and figures of other distances, the Ivan Allan-trained four-year-old has been credited with a cautious Topspeed of 72, a rating that at the very least tells us that it was a solid performance and one that confirmed his staying ability if nothing else.
He had actually earned a 7lb superior figure when third to Miss Piggy on his reappearance last month and, in truth, this second season Irish import was simply reproducing his 1,400-metre juvenile form from Down Royal and Galway.
There can be little doubt that Wonderful Way deserves his place in the International Vase line-up and if it came down to a crunch he would be marginally favoured in this quarter to stable companion Sterling Town.
With the latter recording a Topspeed of 76 for 1,900-metres in the National Panasonic Cup, there is clearly little to choose between the pair on the bare facts and figures. However, Wonderful Way is now proven beyond doubt over the trip and just possesses that extra scope to suggest there may yet be more to come.
It is possible that Fortune Leader, who ran fifth on Saturday, may give way and allow both Allan charges to take their chances. But, if that decision is taken on the strength of this performance it would surely be wrong.
Let us not forget that Fortune Leader was giving Wonderful Way 18lb and, rated 78, the David Hill-trained six-year-old earned the best speed figure in the race, despite being beaten by 83/4 lengths.
In any case, one slightly below par run should not be enough to put connections off a tilt at the Vase. Fortune Leader clocked a rating of 94 when setting the 2,450-metre track record in the Queen Mother's Cup two seasons ago and, with a 93 already to his name this term, he deserves to take his chance more than any.
It is as important to recognise those races to treat with caution as those that should be followed for future punts. And the Wyndham Handicap, won in impressive fashion by Multi National from Aashiq, falls into that 'don't trust' category.
It is not that Multi National will not prove the classy performer he looked on Saturday - quite the contrary judged on his English juvenile form when clocking figures in the 80's - but a slow early pace produced a moderate Topspeed of 51 for the winner and turned the race into a sprint rather than a 1,400-metre contest.
Multi National may well have run on strongly to the line but it far from categorically proves he is ideally suited by seven furlongs let alone suggesting he will stay further.
Famous Arch landed the Boston handicap and, although only a Class Five contest, this is a race that is worth keeping a close eye on. In particular it should pay to follow Acquisition in the coming weeks.
This three-year-old showed little as a griffin and, recording a Topspeed of 26, left his previous starts well and truly behind. Attracting plenty of support in the betting, this effort shows he is capable of winning in Class Five and he is entitled to progress for the experience as well as fitness.