Quicken Away clocks fast trial
QUICKEN Away underlined his International Bowl credentials with a classy barrier trial win in the first of three heats on the Sha Tin equitrack yesterday.
The former dual Horse Of The Year came home unextended under Gerald Mosse to win from Morning Patrol and the promising Speedster in a fast one minute 1.6 seconds. The overall time and his sectional of 23.0 seconds for the final 400 metres was one of the quickest for an equitrack trial over 1,050 metres in recent months.
Trainer Patrick Biancone said: ''He was not right when beaten by Concert King last time when the virus was everywhere.
''He took time to get over it but has been pleasing me with each piece of work since. He has won well this morning and the plan remains the same. I intend to run him on March 7 and go from there to the International Bowl.'' Handicapper Martyn Stewart has already indicated that Quicken Away is likely to be granted one of the four places reserved for local horses in the $3.5 million Bowl on April 18, providing he is fit and well.
The grey certainly looked in fine fettle yesterday. The other Hongkong runners are set to be Concert King, Helene Star and Carry On Winning in a very strong team.
The second trial went to Gary Ng Ting-keung's King Spot but it was the performance of third-placed private purchase griffin, Bounty, that should be noted.
The Tony P.H. Chan-trained three-year-old looked an exceptional recruit when cruising home on a tight rein. He shapes as if he will get a mile this season.
A modest final heat saw Declan Murphy drive home Winning Colors for an emphatic victory.
The maestro himself, Lester Piggott, was in action at trackwork yesterday morning putting the most serious pieces of the season into Ivan Allan's promising English import, Grand Warrior.
Piggott didn't have too much luck the last time he was here two seasons ago. But the way Grand Warrior worked yesterday he should give Piggott a decent ride in Saturday's feature event, the Association of Hongkong Racing Journalists Challenge Cup.
First trial: 1, QUICKEN AWAY (G. Mosse); 2, Morning Patrol (D. Murphy); 3, Speedster (D. Gauci). Others (in finishing order): Motivation, Wind Dancer, Django, Best One, Beardsmore, Tarnside Turbo. Time: 1.01.6 (23.0). Distances: 1l, nk. Winner trained by Patrick Biancone.
Second trial: 1, KING SPOT (W. M. Lai); 2, Brotherhood (C. K. Chung); 3, Bounty (K. H. Hung). Others: Leprechaun, Money Fountain, Bumper Star, Money Maker, Dynamic Racer, Champion Mascot. Time: 1.03.0 (24.5). Distances: 1l, 1/2l. Winner trained by Gary NgTing-keung.
Third trial: 1, WINNING COLORS (D. Murphy); 2, Natural Colour (D. Beadman); 3, Polygain (A. Munro). Others: Chancellor, Green Supreme, African Prince, Universal. Time: 1.03.0 (23.5). Distances: 21/2l, 1l. Winner trained by Geoff Lane.