Happy Cheers for ace Gauci

Robin Parke

ACE Australian rider Darren Gauci has enjoyed success in his link-up with trainer Stephen S.L. Leung - a liaison both men hope to make official next season - and it can continue at Sha Tin tomorrow night.

Gauci, who has been in excellent form recently, partners Happy Cheers for Leung in the second leg of the Double Trio and if he can overcome the bad barrier draw of 14, he can prevail on this interesting newcomer.

Happy Cheers ran twice in his native New Zealand to win at the second time of asking and was well supported to score on his Hong Kong debut but ran into a hot one in Eastern Star, with Walter Swinburn up.

There was absolutely no disgrace in finishing second to Eastern Star who is going very much along the right lines but Happy Cheers, in only his fourth lifetime run, can open his Hong Kong account tomorrow night.

Although he was right on the pace over 1,200 metres before eventually being beaten, Happy Cheers should appreciate 1,400 metres at this stage of his racing development.

He is certainly bred to get longer than 1,200 metres but much will depend on how Gauci can get him across from this awkward draw.


Amigo has been racing in good heart and must come in for consideration while topweight Health First is another of the many Irish imports in the stable of Peter Ng Bik-kuen.

Lester Piggott partners the last start winner Zeus for Geoff Lane and the Australian trainer has his stable in excellent form just now.

The first leg of the Double Trio is a staying event and there do not appear to be that many chances in this testing 2,000-metre race.

Professional placegetter Ming River looks a logical banker for the exotic bet as he always runs on into the frame no matter what distance he is put over.


Topweight Chater Star resumes after a long break and if there happens to be any cut in the ground will go close.