WORK patterns seemed to have gradually changed at Sha Tin over the last couple of seasons with much less fast galloping on the all-weather surface than when I first arrived for the start of the 1990-91 season. Nowadays many trainers rely more on an accumulation of long steady work on the all-weather with a flood of horses at the barriers on Mondays and Thursdays to work on the grass down the back straight. Yesterday was a typical case in point with very little happening on the all-weather work tracks which open at 5 am. Instead the action was concentrated on the barriers which are available for use from the time it gets light around 6.30 am. David Oughton has often used the barriers for his final piece of work and it is just the case yesterday when he asked his speedster Tiger's Spirit for a serious effort under Walter Swinburn. Just watching Walter ride is a pleasure in itself, such is his balance and poise on a horse. Yesterday Tiger's Spirit flew down the back for him, leaving his galloping companion Holy Terror toiling in his wake. There must have been a good eight lengths or more between them at the end of their work and Tiger's Spirit is certainly beginning to come to himself. He races in tomorrow's final event at Happy Valley and on this sort of work he must be a realistic quinella chance. Another outsider to consider is Wong Tang-ping's Mr Snip. It may be a race too early for this fellow but his work over the last fortnight suggests that he is about to come to himself. He went fluently yesterday morning and on Monday moved more strongly than stablemate and former top Class One sprinter, Carry On Winning, in work from the barriers. Ivan Allan habitually works a couple of lots late on from the barriers. Yesterday was no exception with his very fast Speedy Good blazing a trail down the back. Speedy Good was a much improved performer last season for Allan and the way he is going he should be picking up a sprint event this time round. Allan's Applause was desperately unlucky not to run the quinella with Super Win Boo last time out when very heavily backed - this particular quinella shortened from 23 to 16-1. Yesterday Applause was a bit slowly away from the gates before finishing on strongly Applause ran over 1,235 metres behind Super Win Boo last time but he shapes as if more than capable of handling farther and could well be better for it. There was also a smashing piece from Allan's Jharna from the barriers. On his racing debut, Jharna was an exceptionally eye-catching second to Heza Star and looks worth a good bet on his next couple of starts. Captive Trick worked from the barriers in the same group as Jharna and continues to improve. David Hill's Beyond Control always appeared to be holding stablemate Beyond Control in their piece from the gates. Beyond Control is one to note for a low-grade handicap. And Gary Ng Ting-keung's King appears to have made good progress for his racing debut down the straight 1,000 metres when he was fifth to Auto Focus. King moved pleasingly down the back yesterday and looks to be wanting to step up to run over at least 1,400 metres.