BLACK BOOK
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John Size

Disappointing dirt card draws few black book prospects

The Sha Tin all-weather meeting was light on horses to follow going forward, but a quartet of runners might be able to snare another on the surface

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 April, 2016, 5:20pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 April, 2016, 5:26pm

Another poor meeting for horses to follow on Wednesday night with the all-weather the usual mishmash of bad tempos and mystery runs that seem to go hand in hand with racing on the surface.

Perhaps some of the lightly raced runners in the opening race can be followed on the dirt surface in the near future, with Diamond Mysterious and Deja Vu both looking ready to win one, and later in the night two established dirt talents probably pushed their boundaries out a little, Sichuan Vigour and Perpetual Treasure.

Sichuan Vigour was an interesting case going to the short trip as he had always handled the dirt well but has had a tendency to overrace if the pace isn’t just right – and that’s most of the time on dirt these days.

Over 1,200m, there was enough tempo to help him and he was strong at the finish as he and Perpetual Treasure staged a two-horse war down the straight.

The second horse didn’t shirk his task and they raced more than four lengths clear of the remainder of the field, so perhaps that result was more meaningful going forward than some of the other disappointing races that were mostly fought out by the first few in running.

Sichuan Vigour is already at quite a high level but on this performance he might snatch a Class One on the surface over the short course, although he might be waiting a while to find one, while Perpetual Treasure has been very consistent on the dirt and his reward is near.

Deja Vu’s run in the opener after being held up for running in the straight was eye-catching behind Bear Rapper and he shouldn’t be far off winning.

The Almond Lee stable hasn’t had him long and both runs have been good, although it must be said he trialled well on dirt for Ricky Yiu Poon-fai too but his race form has been muddied on any surface by some tough wide runs in his races.

Obviously, things didn’t quite work out again on Wednesday but he was only beaten just over a length and might have won the race in different circumstances from a better draw.