Megabucks will be hard to beat in Class Five
Megabucks ended his season on a positive note with a closing fifth in the Class Four Perfect Partner Handicap (1,000m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday and will be a hard to beat in the bottom grade next season.
Megabucks took his chance once again in Class Four, despite passing up some earlier options in Class Five off his mark of 40, and should be well positioned to start the 2011-12 season following the usual shuffling of ratings during the break.
Mopped up at long odds to jump at 14-1 for Alex Lai Hoi-wing, Megabucks blundered when close to the heels of Tout Va Bien shortly after breaking from gate 10, was nearly seven lengths down at the head of the straight and quickened nicely to go under by only 11/4 lengths in fifth behind Flashing Guy - notching a final 400m in a swift 22.67 seconds.
The Andy Leung Ting-wah-trained six-year-old has always had the ability to win, doing so in a sprint at Happy Valley in both his first two seasons of racing. That winning streak has come to an end this campaign, but the gelding has shown a versatile running style to finish third and fourth behind the likes of smart Best Fit over the 1,000m at the city venue and Scarlet Camellia over the 1,200m at Sha Tin.
The son of Fasliyev has had trouble with substantial blood in his trachea, but if all is well he will be saluting the judge as he has terrific fresh form.
John Size has had another sterling season with 64 winners with one meeting remaining - passing the 600-win mark in April after joining the ranks in 2001 - and will be looking forward to getting Voile Rouge back to the races in the new campaign following an encouraging first-up effort in the Class Two Maverick Star Handicap (1,200m).
The Australian import moved nicely in the final two of three lead-up trials, but was unwanted in the betting at 45-1 with Brett Doyle picking up a rare ride for the Size camp.
Doyle became unbalanced in the saddle after Voile Rouge copped a sharp bump soon after the break from favourite Best Fit. He saved ground along the rails before sneaking home to finish a respectable ninth - three lengths behind Easy Winner - but in a blanket finish of five horses for fifth. It was a huge run as Doyle had sustained an injury to his right foot and had to be stood down from his final ride on the card.
The four-year-old New Zealand-bred arrived off a mark of 92 as a seasoned Australian campaigner with 16 starts under his belt for former Hong Kong trainer David Hayes, picking up wins at Geelong (1,125m), Moonee Valley (1,200m) and Flemington (1,410m) and six placings, including a Group Three third behind Lord Pyrus in the Carlyon Cup over a mile on a yielding track at Caulfield.
Voile Rouge is a well-bred son of established sire Encosta De Lago and Desert Sun mare La Bella Dama, a seven-time winner from 1,200m to 2,000m, including the Group One Mackinnon Stakes. He is a half-brother to four winners.
With a sound mix of pedigree, good looks and a fluent action, Voile Rouge looks a good find for the Size stable and should be able to produce some nice wins when coming into his own over a 1,400m to 2,000m range.