Sir Barnley to rise to occasion

Robin Parke

THE colours, owner and jockey are the same - but the horse is a different proposition.

Just four days after riding a great race on Danewin in the Cox Plate for owner Sonny Yam Wing-yin, Tse takes out Sir Barnley for the same owner in the fifth event at Happy Valley tonight.

And tomorrow he's off to Melbourne to partner Danewin in the Victorian Derby, which he could win.

But the difference in class between Danewin and Sir Barnley - this is a Classes Three and Four 2,000-metre event - could scarcely be more marked, as the unflappable Tse knows well.

'When you ride good horses, the difference is very real. Danewin is a top horse and a horse very good over longer distances, too. I think he can win the Victorian Derby,' said Tse.

Unfortunately for Tse and sporting owner Yam, Sir Barnley is a long way short of the class of Danewin but when you're in luck, it can sometimes continue.


Danewin will run a big race on Saturday and it is not impossible for the troubled Sir Barnley to do something in this moderate equitrack event.

The horse is undoubtedly better over longer trips and has placed on the equitrack surface before, finishing fourth over 2,100 metres in slightly better company than this.

Trainer Alex Wong Yu-on has also decided on blinkers for the seven-year-old for the first time and it may well be of some assistance here.

Sir Barnley's first-up run this season was good when he showed up over an unsuitable 1,400 metres but then was found wanting when stepped up to 1,800 metres at his last start.


The gelding certainly deserves to start at longish odds considering his overall form but he is an outside chance in the event - and Tse can possibly carry the green and red colours of Yam to victory.

Interestingly, a horse with absolutely no equitrack form has been working better than any of them going into this contest.


Star Greeting, from the stable of Eddie K. C. Lo, is already a winner this season getting up by a head over the Happy Valley mile on the turf on the second day of the season.

It was a strong win and he was not disgraced when stepped up to 1,800 metres at his last start where he finished fourth to rising star Starbuck. He was less than three lengths from an impressive winner so the form reads agreeably well.

Claimer Stanley K. M. Chin, who started his career indentured to Lo, rides Star Greeting and it would be wise to entertain the claims of the four-year-old who may easily have another win or two in him.


The lack of equitrack form need not necessarily be a complete deterrent here as he does have pace and can be relied upon to be up front early. This is normally a prerequisite for success on equitrack and as he has been on the pace in a mile event on the turf - running second for most of it - he will surely be prominent over this trip on the synthetic surface.

The question mark must clearly be the distance as he is tackling it for the first time. But he may be advantageously priced and is worth including.

Champion trainer Ivan Allan has applied the blinkers for a second time to topweight So Easy who was nowhere in a run over 1,400 metres two weeks ago. But he has done well on equitrack in the past and could run some sort of a race for Basil Marcus.


However, So Easy might also be anchored to an extent with his impost of 139 pounds and those leaning towards the five-year-old would be advised not to take short odds. He's just not worth it.

The best performer on the surface in the field is veteran stayer Valiant Red who will be ridden here by Tony Cruz.

He has done a fair bit of work leading up to this race and with two runs under his belt should be fit enough to give a reasonable account of himself. At eight, however, there is clearly no improvement left and it is whether he can reproduce his best form of last two seasons that will count.

But Valiant Red does have a habit of popping up - sometimes unexpectedly - and he is another worth considering for a tierce or quinella.

Bottomweight Thor Win is a handy stayer in this grade but comes into this without the benefit of a previous run and that must tell against him when it comes to the crunch.

He has run most promisingly at his first outing for the past couple of seasons but come on well from the run and that should be the case here. But he has no weight, and Mick Kinane, so he is far from being right out of it.

If nine-year-old Speed Way still retains any love for the game then he, too, could run a race here.

The Irish import has excellent equitrack form and trainer Lawrie Fownes has engaged leading jockey Darryll Holland. Apprentice-ridden at his first start this season over 1,900 metres, Speed Way was scarcely sighted but this is much more to his liking.

Of the others involved here, Captain Ron should need the run while Scada - although a decent effort last time - has not done well on this surface in the past.