Common Goal seems set to soar skyward
Punters will be all over recent stable transfer Common Goal when he next steps out on raceday after the talented grey's impressive first trial for new trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung.
With blinkers on for the first time in a trial, the five-year-old did his work stylishly under jockey Brett Prebble, catching the eye in his 1,050m dirt test.
Prebble took the son of General Nediym back to last, before improving sharply inside of horses as he rounded the turn. He switched off heels to the outside with around 400m to go, from where Common Goal let down impressively.
The leader-to-leader splits of 22.9 and 22.5 didn't leave much for the backmarkers to work with, yet Common Goal still zipped along to nab leader Diamond Rainbow (Olivier Doleuze) on the line with something to spare.
Considering Common Goal was long way back, and was still four lengths off the front-runner at the 200m, his closing sectionals were remarkable. Common Goal joined the struggling stable of Andy Leung Ting-wah after he moved from Australia rated 67 on the strength of a 1,400m maiden win. His rating had plummeted to 56 though, through 18 starts for just four placings, and yesterday's trial indicates that mark is well below the horse's ability.
Common Goal has run well between 1,200m and 1,650m on both the Sha Tin dirt and turf, and with blinkers equipped, should be hard to beat in whatever race Man decides to target.
In the morning's first trial, Good Boy Boy (Zac Purton) made a rare appearance away from Happy Valley and may have given Paul O'Sullivan another option as he scooted through aa smart dirt workout.
Good Boy Boy won over 1,200m at Sha Tin early in his career, but the tear-away's four wins since have all been over the Valley short course.
The five-year-old had never trialled on the dirt, but after he tracked runaway leader Jun Dao (Terry Wong Chi-wai) in the 1,050m heat, Good Boy Boy was still under a throttle hold as he moved up and crossed the line first.