THURSDAY morning's trackwork is usually a nightmare, dragging one's self bleary-eyed to Sha Tin after a losing night at the Valley compounded by just a few hours sleep. But occasionally it is all made worthwhile. Yesterday was one of those mornings with some exceptional work from Derby contenders Makarpura Star and Flowers Treasure. They approach the Derby from radically different directions. The John Moore-trained Makarpura Star is very much the finished article. He has already run second in the New Zealand 2,000 Guineas and a highly creditable sixth to State Taj in the International Cup. Yesterday, ridden by Tony Cruz who will be on him in the Derby, he put in a quality gallop with stablemate, Win Label. Cruz tracked Win Label down the back and into the straight before easing Makarpura Star out and allowing him to slide a length and a half clear. It was not just the manner of his work which was impressive. It was his condition. Moore is second to none in the training stakes and he has built Makarpura Star up into a much more physically appealing individual than he was when he arrived in Hong Kong. The break from racing since the International Cup has done his New Zealand import the power of good. The difference in how he looks is hard to overstate as before the Cup he was a very sparely made, unprepossessing type. Flowers Treasure is the darkest of dark horses in that there is no telling how good he may be. He has not beaten anything of any consequence yet. It was the style of his 53/4-length defeat of Grand Prize with the rest of his rivals strung out like they'd just run in the Melbourne Cup, plus the time he recorded, which has put him down as one of the most improved horses in training - if not the most improved sort. His trackwork since that mile victory has also been impeccable. So while these 'talking' horses invariably fail to live up to the hype the likes of us heap upon them, it could just be that Flowers Treasure is the exception. His trainer, Wong Tang-ping is loathe to split him and Polar Star in terms of ability. And Flowers Treasure just gets better and better with every gallop. The progression is there for all trackwatchers to see in front of their very eyes. Tomorrow, Flowers Treasure steps out for the Class Three Tung Wah Centenary Challenge Cup over 1,800 metres and the way he summarily dismissed galloping companion Cutlass Perfection in a solid 1,200-metre hitout yesterday morning indicates he is going to be very hard to beat. There was also excellent work for this race from the Derek Cruz-trained Lifo who is going to be winning his way out of Class Three in the near future. He needed his last start, having missed a month's work, but has put in two fine pieces in the last week, notably yesterday when going every bit as well as his higher-rated stablemate, Special Warning, who is himself coming back well after a spell on the sidelines. Happy Birthday put in a scintillating piece from the barriers at the top of the back straight - by Class Six standards that is - and appears to have improved again since his last-start success. He will be very hard to beat in tomorrow's opener. Johnny Ho could well go out on a winner in the second event where he partners Surely Wonderful. Ho has stated his intention of retiring at the end of the month and this is the last race meeting in January. Yesterday Surely Wonderful, who was a powerful winner over 1,400 metres last time out, worked better than he has ever gone. Lawrie Fownes' Classic Boy has also come to himself for this race as has David Oughton's Golden Prosperity. Both went really well yesterday morning, especially the former. David Hill's Time Strong went well enough in readiness for the fifth while Neville Begg's Goodie-Goodie is spot on for the sixth and should go close. Hill's Debonair has progressed markedly for his battle with Quick Action last time and should go very close to beating the likes of Ivan Allan's Multi National and the much-vaunted Golden Slipper fourth, Mr Vitality, in the seventh. This is some sprint as all three horses have filled the eye. Debonair is simply flying but so, too, is Multi National. He has thrived and is also ready to step up considerably on his recent form. Mr Vitality could be anything. He is far from fully wound up, but is a tremendously impressive individual to look at and has more than answered every question Allan has asked of him going into his debut. It is worth going to Sha Tin tomorrow just to see this race. Allan appears to have set Donizetti for the last for which Joint Account and Way Ahead hold their form very well. This is a very competitive event as Fantastic Flyer, Green Maple and Gainsborough's Boy have improved while A Secret Weapon and Allegresse remain in good heart in the mornings.