IT is full steam ahead for the reopening of the Happy Valley track following yesterday's barrier trial session on the city course. With the Jockey Club having invested millions of dollars on the redevelopment of the picturesque racing centre, there was plenty of interest in how the track would stand up to what was a full dress rehearsal for the November 25 meeting. And the general consensus of officials, trainers and jockeys was that all is well. 'There was a little damage on some spots, but that is only to be expected as the grass has only been laid a short while,' said director of racing Philip Johnston. 'It seems to be much better on sections where we had the original grass and with three weeks still to work on the track I'm sure it will be in tip-top shape come raceday,' he added. Johnston, who had walked the track following the opening heat, seemed pleased with proceedings and was especially satisfied with an apparent lack of kickback. 'There were a couple of spots where some sand was being thrown up, but overall most jockeys and trainers appear happy with this,' he said. Indeed, there did seem to be a bit of sand being thrown up on the turn past the winning post, but a selection of leading jockeys expressed satisfaction with the overall quality of the turf. 'Considering it's only been laid for a short time the kickback was quite reasonable,' said Basil Marcus. Marcus, renowned for his prowess on the turning circuit, was at pains also to stress that the restructuring of the course would ensure jockeys would need to adapt to the vagaries of the track. 'It is a good track to ride, but it is obvious that riders will need to get their mounts into the right positions to win,' he said. But with another jockeys' premiership beckoning, the South African was not giving away trade secrets. 'They'll have to work that out for themselves,' he laughed. While Marcus was coming to terms with the course, champion jockey Tony Cruz was out to ensure his name went down as winner of the opening trial on the new circuit when he rode the John Moore-trained Joint Account right out to take the 1,800-metre heat. Joint Account has been moving kindly for Moore since returning to work and he looks destined to climb higher than his present rating. Ring The Cabin ran on strongly to finish second and he is one to keep in mind for his next outing. He had plenty of support when disappointing first-up, but he has improved greatly since then. The 1,650-metre trial was eagerly awaited, with the gates having to be switched to the outside of the track after the field had jumped. And 47 seconds later they were in their designated position. 'We had 72 seconds so they have done well,' said starter Mike Tibbatts. 'We have put in plenty of work into the procedure and we will cut down on that time a little bit yet.' The trial went to Palette Star, but the best run from a future viewpoint came from Rocket Green, who is improving. Fay Fay showed a lot of dash to take the third heat and he has come on from his opening effort on the all-weather. Of the beaten division, Namjong Again went better and he could give Ricky Yiu another boost in his first season in the training ranks. Ellen's Conduct got home hard to take the last trial and he seems to be close to his best. Meanwhile, Makarpura Star has returned to Hong Kong and entered three-week quarantine yesterday. 'He was scoped in the morning and has recovered from the viral complaint that he picked up in Australia,' said senior veterinary surgeon Keith Watkins. Makarpura Star ran third at his only start in Melbourne and will now be aimed at the International Cup in December. First trial (1,800 metres): 1, JOINT ACCOUNT (A. S. Cruz); 2, Ring The Cabin (B. Marcus); 3, Rare View (P. Strydom). Others (in finishing order): Intermac Joker, Regent's Star, Fairview Star, Crown Commander, Elite, Turbo Star, Foursome, Great Intent, Thunderous Action. Time: 1:52.9 (24.9). Distances: 3/4 length, 21/2 lengths. Winner trained by John Moore. Second trial (1,650 metres): 1, PALETTE STAR (G. Childs); 2, Danish Heights (D. Lee); 3, Rocket Green (C. W. Cheng). Others: Jacko, Gold Crystal, Dolphin, Helene Treasure, Fortune Partner, Jay Ee Eight, Grand Commander, Rising Star, Success Partners. Time: 1:43.3 (24.8). Distances: head, head. Winner trained by Neville Begg. Third trial (1,200 metres): 1, FAY FAY (P. Strydom); 2, Auto-Matching (G. Childs); 3, Moon Dancer (A. S. Cruz). Others: Namjong Again, New Pet, Casablanca, Cash Fortune, Mr Hi-Lite, Lyphard's Lad, Speed Cat, Scotch Dancer, Allura Red. Time: 1:11.8 (24.2). Distances: 31/2 lengths, 11/2 lengths. Winner trained by David Hayes. Fourth trial (1,000 metres): 1, ELLEN'S CONDUCT (K. S. Yu); 2, Link Treasure (K. Manning); 3, Gold Talent (H. K. Yim). Others: Big Saloon, Everwell Times, Sharp Shooter, Optic Star, Onaroll, Warm Winter, Jade Signet, Carryonninetyseven, Speedy Fun. Time: 0:58.9 (23.3). Distances: 2 lengths, short head. Winner trained by Stephen Leung Sik-lun.