MORE wins can be expected from the progressive Lifo judging by the way he shaped at Sha Tin yesterday morning.
The Danzatore gelding moved to Peter Ng Bik-kuen midway through last season and has won twice for him, was second once, third once and then fifth on his final outing of the season.
This is just the kind of consistency to look for in a horse from a betting point of view as in this town it's not all about winning.
Indeed the quinella pool carries the most money and the tierce is very popular, too.
Yesterday, Lifo jumped from the barriers at the top of the back straight in company with his stablemate Golden Emperor, who is himself a good worker.
The pair came through 800 metres in a pleasing 47.7 seconds. Danny Lee never posed Lifo a serious question at any time but the four-year-old still went discernibly the better of the two. Irish import Musical Insight was basically a disappointment for Ng after he had run 31/4 lengths third to Bumper Star over a mile at Sha Tin in late February. He became progressively worse in three subsequent outings and his connections could have hoped for more than a five-point drop in the ratings compared to the 86 he competed from behind Bumper Star.
But they could hardly have hoped for Musical Insight to have developed better through the summer. He had come back into work looking very fluent and athletic in his slower paces and yesterday confirmed those impressions in a jump out with Over The Blues who also went well as they clocked a fast 46.6 seconds for 800 metres down the back. Tony P. H. Chan asked his old friend and rival from his riding days, champion jockey Tony Cruz, to put New Pet through a proper piece of work. New Pet had little trouble pulling a couple of lengths clear of Royal Horse when they were asked to pick up down the home straight but don't get too carried away by this gallop.
New Pet could well be the type to work as well, if not better than he runs and a watching brief is advised. Gary Ng Ting-keung has been in the territory for most of the summer, keeping a close eye on his team of which a number are very forward as Sunday's opening meeting approaches. In particular Ng has been doing plenty with Dolphin and with Winner St Paul's.
Dolphin is likely to start at cramped odds whenever he makes his seasonal reappearance as he has been an eye-catcher in the mornings.
He is, and always has been, a very good worker. Winner St Paul's, a full brother to Ng's stable star Sure Win King, didn't quite fulfil expectations in three griffin outings last season. He ran well enough, though, and has come back looking a very impressive type and could well show improved form.