It has been a vintage season for the uncle and nephew combination of Lawrie Fownes and Wendyll Woods and in the impressive debut winner Taurus they look to have one of the best griffins of the current crop. Taurus drew right away from Hunting Lad and Happy Monies on Queen Elizabeth II Cup day, despite appearing to have worked hard when vying for the lead in the initial stages of that 1,000-metre contest. But that view from the stands was emphatically refuted by Woods who is riding on the crest of a wave and well on the way to set a new personal benchmark in the territory. After racing on QEII Cup day, he stressed: 'It wasn't that we were working hard early, the reverse was the case. They weren't going fast enough for my horse. 'I was looking for something to give us more of a lead, but he was just cantering over the top of them.' Taurus is entered and expected to run down the straight 1,000-metre chute this weekend and doesn't appear to have too many dangers though the likes of Wong Tang-ping's improving Danswinner, Ivan Allan's newcomer Holy Grail, Andy Leung's International Sale purchase Silver Collector and Derek Cruz's natural runner, Solid Contact, are likely to keep him honest. But keeping Taurus honest under his seven-pound penalty is a different thing from beating him and yesterday the son of Rory's Jester looked in tip-top condition as he floated through his 800-metre hitout. He really does have a beautiful, daisy-cutting action that is sheer economy of movement and the way he looks to have trained on since that impressive debut win, it is tempting to say that Saturday's race is at his mercy. Brilliant French jockey, Eric Saint-Martin partners Solid Contact at the weekend or at least he rode him yesterday which suggests most strongly that he is going to. Solid Contact has 3.75 lengths to make up on Taurus and is that seven pounds better off. There is no doubt from Solid Contact's work that he has progressed and yesterday he looked good as he came through 1,200 metres in one minute and 21.6 seconds. He must rate a serious quinella chance. In other work for Saturday's Pearce Memorial Challenge Cup meeting, Ivan Allan's Coach Maniac looked on very good terms with himself in a typical Allan 800-metre piece in company with Citadeed. Coach Maniac is out of the handicap at the moment but that may all change if both Privilege and Benji come out. English jockey Philip Robinson appears to have snapped up the ride on Strikers whom he would have known well from his days with Newmarket trainer Mark Tompkins who had the horse as a three-year-old. Strikers continues to go well, putting in another fluent piece yesterday, though Saturday's 1,400-metre trip could just be on the short side. Strikers' trainer David Hayes also has Echo Bay set for the Class Three 1,800-metre handicap while Bruce Hutchison has Trobis primed to run very well in the second division of the same Classes One and Two 1,400-metre handicap. Hutchison's horses have generally been in good form in the second half of the season. There were two pretty much inconsequential trials yesterday with David Oughton's stayer, Legitimate, blitzing them in the first and Fownes' Sincerely Yours coming home in a very similar time in the second. SHA TIN DIRT TRIALS First trial _ 1,050 metres: 1, LEGITIMATE (E. Saint-Martin); 2, Golden Emperor (D. Lee); 3, No Competitor (A. Munro). Others (in finishing order): Perfect Swing, Kenzig, New Leaf, Glorious Decade. Time: 1:04.3 (24.1). Distances: 7 lengths, neck. Winner trained by David Oughton. Second trial _ 1,050 metres: 1, SINCERELY YOURS (K. M. So); 2, Good Choice (P. Payne); 3, Five Stars Shining (K. M. Chin). Others: Namjong Brothers, Bordeaux, Cotton Tree. Time: 1:04.2 (24.4). Distances: 1.25 lengths, 9 lengths. Winner trained by Lawrie Fownes.