Plenty to cheer about for Fownes
LAWRIE Fownes burst back to form in no uncertain terms with a double at Happy Valley on Wednesday and could well strike again with Plenty Cash in this afternoon's seventh event at Happy Valley. This Class Four mile event really does make plenty of appeal for betting purposes, not just because Plenty Cash looks just the type who will improve for the first-time application of blinkers, but because there appear to be so few realistic dangers.
The biggest threat to Plenty Cash could well come from Ivan Allan's improving sort, Applause, who put in a fine effort last time when a luckless head second to Ellen's Voyage. Then there is Amazing Win at the top of the weights who, like Plenty Cash, is also blinkered for the first time. Amazing Win was probably work fit rather than race fit, hence his seemingly disappointing run first time out this season when he was heavily backed to win only to find little from the top of the Sha Tin straight finishing seven lengths 10th to Highland Laddie in the race in which Plenty Cash was three-quarters of a length third.
But Amazing Win is a sparely made individual and he may not have that much improvement in him. The second topweight, Lung Huang Shan, has a good record round the Valley, but a paddock inspection revealed that he was a fair bit above himself for his season reappearance and while he has a solid form chance, he may still need this run to come to peak condition. After him the only other contenders look to be Financial Fortune and Fashion Delux. Financial Fortune races well for Darren Gauci and has been working well. However, his form is only modest.
Fashion Delux is just a lightweight chance for the brothers Cruz and his second to Diablo at Sha Tin did not come in a particularly strong event with favourite Congratulations, who ran third, almost certainly not running up to his best form. So it really does come back to Plenty Cash followed by Applause. Plenty Cash is another example of a horse that joined the Fownes camp and then started to show his full potential.
He showed plenty of courage under a superb ride from Lance O'Sullivan to score over course and distance last season, but has been going even better this time round. He shaped most encouragingly first time out over an inadequate 1,200 metres in the race won by Sir Valid from Star Lap, he then ran inexplicably badly before putting in the best run of his career when third to Highland Laddie in a more competitive event than this at Sha Tin.
The way Plenty Cash just grinds away from the middle part of his races to the line indicates that he is an ideal type for the application of blinkers which should introduce far more zip to his repertoire. But do save on Applause as when these Allan-trained youngsters down in the low grades start to improve they continually defy the handicapper and the way Applause has been working there is something more to come from him than he showed when second to Ellen's Voyage. His final gallop from the barriers on Thursday morning was particularly pleasing.
Useful seven-pound claimer Peter Ho has already shown that he is more than worth his allowance but hasn't really had the opportunities to shine so far this campaign with just one win to his name.
But he has a fine opening on Plentiful Harvest who looks solid win and place value in the third event. Plentiful Harvest has always appealed as the type to benefit from a move to a mile, yet for some reason this is his first try at the distance. He has been lucky enough to strike a modest Class Four event and if he does not lead, he should be able to get a lovely trail behind something like The First Million, Call Me Horse or Fast Forward. Ho may even want to make every post a winning one and take his mount straight to the front.