Although the season is winding down and the numbers of trial entrants is dropping by the week, there are still a few to keep safe before the end of the season and one of those is Show Bravely. Ricky Yiu Poon-fie's galloper is yet to win this season from 12 starts but he has been unlucky not to have been first past the post on numerous occasions.
After a mid-season lull, his form has picked up and his effort when finishing second in the 1,200 metres dirt trial on Friday was excellent. Under very little pressure from Eddie Lai Wai-ming, he stormed home in the concluding stages and displayed plenty of zest in doing so. His better form has been at Happy Valley or on the all-weather surface at Sha Tin, where he is best followed.
The trial was won by Caspar Fownes' Mr President (rated 35), who was hard ridden by Patrick Payne. It was a decent effort given his low rating and there could be an opening for him in the lowest grade before the season is out.
South African trainer David Ferraris won the opening heat with Every Time, who appears to have picked up marginally from his second local outing on May 12.
On that evening, he was difficult to load into the barriers and was slowly away. He has put that behind him now and is showing improvement in general work, so be could be a value chance next time.
John Size-trained Darwin travelled ominously well in second and looks in good order. Back in fourth was Geoff Lane's Bear Dominance, who has shown little promise from four local starts. This trial was significantly better than anything he has shown in the past and his work should be monitored closely until the end of the season.
In other work, Derek Cruz's recent 800 metres trial winner Mangrove confirmed that effort when catching the eye in a riverside gallop earlier this week.
The International Sale purchase, bought by Joseph Chung for $1.3 million, is displaying above-average potential. Cruz has given him plenty of work this month and has left no stone unturned in his preparation.
Looking at his work schedule, it is likely he will be making his debut before the end of the season and should be followed.
Francis Lui Kin-wai's Daktim has come out of his May 18 trial very well, judging by his only subsequent gallop. Jason Holder was aboard for his work on Thursday, when he clocked 52.9 seconds over 800 metres. The son of Lion Hunter has clearly progressed and is showing enough potential to prove competitive when he eventually makes his debut.
Ones To Note: Show Bravely Daktim