Italian stayer Maktub left a running rail in tatters but his Hong Kong Vase chances still alive after a bizarre scene at yesterday's Sha Tin trackwork session. The four-year-old was turning into the home straight on the outside of the main course, winding up to complete what appeared a smart gallop, when he unaccountably turned right at a 90 degree angle and charged at the inside rail. Maktub's work rider clung to the stallion as he hurtled 20 metres at a rapidly-scattering group of journalists and Jockey Club officials who had been watching the gallop from the inside of the rail about 350m from the winning post. The rider was forced to bail out when it became impossible for Maktub to avoid a collision. Maktub, Frankie Dettori's ride in the Vase, smashed chest-first through the aluminium rail, leaving it twisted and wrecked on the ground but then composed himself sufficiently to stand still and wait for his handler and rider. 'Maktub was very, very lucky not to be badly hurt,' said director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, who watched the incident from the grandstand. 'He reduced his speed just before he made contact with the running rail. Maktub will have some bruises but we hope it is nothing serious and we are optimistic he will be able to run on Sunday.' Jockey Club chief vet Keith Watkins said: 'Maktub has a small abrasion to his left hind pastern. He was checked back at the stable and he was walking and trotting up sound. We will keep a very close eye on him but he is incredibly lucky to have got away so lightly considering what he did.' It was not Maktub's first morning out at Sha Tin, though he had not been on the turf course before. 'According to his work rider, there was someone standing on the raised bridge that goes to Penfold Park. As Maktub came past there, he looked over at them,' Engelbrecht-Bresges said. However, the Italian horse did not appear to begin his wicked turn until what was probably 100 metres later. It appeared Maktub may have been startled when he returned his view to straight ahead and saw a track-crossing official standing against the outside of the track at ground level. The horse's work rider was visibly shaken but unhurt in the incident.