JOHN Marshall gets the vote for the riding performance of the week after guiding Top-Worth to victory in the Hong Kong Club Challenge Cup at Sha Tin on Saturday. With his saddle slipping shortly after the start, Marshall displayed impeccable horsemanship to control the 1,400-metre contest from the front. Recording solid sectional times for the first two splits, the Australian ace slowed the pace right down to produce a dawdling penultimate 400 metres and, with predictable bunching in behind, Top-Worth was in the ideal position to steal a march in the sprint to the line. There is little doubt that the result could have been different with a lesser jockey in the plate, but it should not detract from the fact that the David Hill-trained gelding clocked a Topspeed of 54 - an admirable figure in the circumstances and one that stamps him as a young horse to keep firmly on the right side of. Connections did not hesitate to put this son of Storm Bird forward as a Derby candidate and, while this may not have been as impressive a time performance as say Flowers Treasure six days earlier, his star is definitely in the ascendancy. A winner in a useful, if not spectacular time (rated 40) on his only griffin start, he was almost certainly in need of the run when producing a similar effort on his reappearance. With only three career starts under his belt, he has bags of scope for further improvement. By Storm Bird out of a Devils Bag mare, there is nothing in his breeding to suggest he will not appreciate a step up in journey and, whether he qualifies for the February 26 showpiece or not, he looks certain to pay his way over the coming months from a punting viewpoint. Runner-up Able Monarch had to overcome traffic problems having raced to the rear of the field and was running on in fine style to record a Topspeed figure of 58. Improving on his previous best to the tune of 14 pounds, he will not be long in opening his account and is another to watch out for next time. David Hill also put forward Amza Glory as a Derby prospect after that one landed the second division of the Bowling Alley Handicap. Although a poor early pace led to a moderate overall time relative to the winner's official handicap mark, a Topspeed of 61 still ranks him the superior of the Hill-trained pair and his trainer is adamant that he will improve for a faster gallop. That may or may not be the case, only time will tell, but as far as a future punt is concerned the second home, Kick The Habit, is the one to note. This was Amza Glory's best effort to date, but the Michael Kinane-ridden runner-up had already positively shown his liking for a fast pace when clocking 71 behind Winner's Special and Privilege on International Day. A victory is only just around the corner for this four-year-old Entitled gelding. Foursome justified favouritism to open his account in the Class Four Club Handicap and the 1,000-metre contest should prove a solid form line in the future, with runner-up Action Time setting a strong pace from the off. The winner has progressed with each run this season and, although a speed figure of 58 is still a good way inferior to his exceptional griffin effort, Basil Marcus guided him to another improved performance. Action Time (50) went into the notebook after running second on his first two starts this season and, clocking his best time to date, will be in the winner's enclosure soon. David Oughton's Turf King (47) was found wanting on the run home, but he too returned his best effort on the clock, and in truth lost no caste in defeat. Kinane landed both sections of the Oi Man Handicap at Happy Valley last week and it was the second section that produced the most noteworthy performance of the evening, with Champion Mascot scoring in good style from Aim On Kris. Credited with a Topspeed of 31 for the run, the Kan Ping-chee-trained galloper improved just two pounds on his previous best, but the fact that he circled the field four or five wide and still won comfortably suggests there is more to come. Aim On Kris (36) left his previous efforts behind and gave fair notice that he is up to winning a race of this nature, while Monopoly (31) returned a most encouraging initial effort of the season. As expected, Privilege enjoyed the step up to 1,800 metres and clocked a solid 61 when comfortably landing the final event on the seven-race card, the Class Three Kornhill Handicap. Ivan Allan's Last Tycoon-gelding can be followed with confidence in a higher grade.