Peter Ng Bik-kuen has plenty to look forward to on the evidence of two dirt trials held at Sha Tin yesterday, the first of which was won by lightly raced galloper Island Spirit. The son of Bijou D'inde showed good early pace before stretching away from his rivals in the final 100 metres to win the heat by three-quarters of a length.
Island Spirit edged out speedy stablemate Victory Warrior to clock a time of 1.11.6 seconds for the 1,200 metres. The time of the first trial was more than a second quicker than that of the second heat and it was a sound effort from Island Spirit, who had shown little potential from three local starts.
Back in sixth place was Caspar Fownes-trained Port Of Hope who shaped nicely. There is little doubt he is looking for a good deal further than the 1,200 metres, but he showed some early speed and appeared in good order considering he last competed back in November. He showed enough potential to suggest he can be winning in the short term,
The second heat was run in a time of 1.12.9 seconds, and went to Ng's Class Five galloper Win Fortune. His only win this season came on the all-weather and he clearly relishes the surface. Without being pressured at any stage, he stretched away from his rivals to score a commanding victory.
Not a lot of pressure was put on Athletic Gold, who finished in the runner-up slot. This fellow is fit and well and has held his condition since winning twice. He looks much-improved since the blinkers were applied and he should be hard to beat again.
One To Note: Port Of Hope