Trainer Allan has 'mighty' value ahead for devoted fans
THE same handful of trainers have been dominating trackwork since the morning sessions started in earnest at Sha Tin.
Ivan Allan, Brian Kan Ping-chee, Derek Cruz, Lawrie Fownes and, more surprisingly, the normally slow-starting Wong Tang-ping look to have a number of their horses very well forward.
Other handlers like John Moore and, to a lesser extent, Gary Ng Ting-keung, David Hill and Patrick Biancone have a select few ready and waiting for Sunday's ''off''.
Yesterday, it was the turn of Allan's team to impress, though watchers had to wait until very late on to catch them.
The work was certainly worth waiting for with Mighty Mighty underlining the tremendous progress he has made since last season.
He has already received sparkling reports and yesterday he galloped all over his speedy stablemate Turf Champ, who also went well.
But it is Mighty Mighty who appears worth a wager. They came through their final 400 metres in 23.4 with Mighty Mighty travelling much the stronger and a neck up, despite Basil Marcus' best endeavours.
The champion, who is a skilful work rider as well as a race-winning jockey, had his mount in a virtual headlock. Despite Marcus' vice-like grip it was still impossible not to be highly impressed by Mighty Mighty.
Allan's Sun Crest continues to work with more zest than ever before. It is hard to imagine a horse leaving Biancone, and improving but Sun Crest has never gone better in the mornings. He had no trouble matching strides with Fukien Boy as they clocked a smooth 23.0 for their last section.
Explorer was one of the best private purchase griffins from last season. He showed tremendous strength and tenacity to defy topweight and a bog track to win in a good time against older runners last back end, despite being only a two-year-old.
Like Mighty Mighty, he has come back into work appearing appreciably stronger. Yesterday, he came home alongside All Thrills and Sterling Town in a manner which suggested that there are some decent races to be won over a mile or farther.
He has a great attitude and has developed into a real powerful horse.
Ka Fook moved freely down the straight and seems to be enjoying his work more than at the end of last season. He is nicely positioned back on the same mark in Class Three as when beating Northern Fire Ball in a decent time last November.
Looking towards Sunday and David Hill's pair of Mountain Champ and Copper Red moved pleasingly from the barriers at the top of the back straight. Mountain Champ is a lightly-framed individual who should run well first-up and Copper Red looks fit enough for his first run in Class Five in a race in which the work of Biancone's Cloud Seven's suggests he has a quinella chance.
Biancone's recent acquisition Busy Win also went nicely from the barriers as did Kenny Kam's Conticasta but their Class One mile event has a very competitive feel to it.