David Hayes has figured prominently in most of the trials held in the past couple of weeks and that was the case again at Sha Tin yesterday where lightly-raced Good To Great won the second heat.
The former griffin has only competed five times, two of which have come this season and neither run providing much encouragement for the future.
However, this piece of work was markedly better from Good To Great, and he is clearly going better than he has all season. Brett Prebble never moved a muscle aboard the gelding, going to the line eased down with a good deal left in reserve.
He looks fit and well and is worth keeping safe when he next appears, though remembering he is open to significant improvement at this stage of his career.
In the same heat, it was pleasing to see David Oughton's Figures back on the track. This was his first trial this season and he went about his business in a professional manner. He has only had a light preparation to date, which is no surprise given the bigger targets he has on the agenda in December. Nonetheless, he came through this trial with flying colours and his work couldn't be faulted in any way.
Also hitting the line relatively well was John Size-trained Hot Practitioner. Anthony Delpech allowed him a little rein inside the final furlong and the grey gelding stretched out purposefully.
Size's Australian import, Group One BMW (2,400m) winner Grand Zulu was where most eyes were cast in the opening trial of the morning. Douglas Whyte was on board for this trial. Size has ridden virtually all of Grand Zulu's gallops this season. Whyte gave him a very quiet trial and very little was learned at this early stage.
Wendyll Woods won the trial aboard Sean Woods' new recruit Ho Choi (rated 114), who looks in good order. However, given the comparative rating of Happy Elite (rated 52), the runner-up was the one to note from the trial.
Paul O'Sullivan clearly has a decent prospect with Happy Elite, who went to the line strongly for Prebble.
Happy Elite is a son of O'Reilly - who was actually trained by O'Sullivan in New Zealand to become a multiple Group One-winning sprinter-miler -and because many of the progeny adapt well to the local scene, he is one to keep a closer watch on.
ONES TO NOTE:
Good To Great, Happy Elite