Holland makes the right moves
LEADING jockey Darryll Holland has another strong book of rides at Sha Tin tomorrow, not least last-gasp last-start winner, Allegresse, in the seventh event for Derek Cruz. Allegresse has always shaped as if capable of holding his own in Class Three and he now gets his chance from a light weight in a contest which is by no means that competitive. His form is also working out well.
He came wide and late to catch Seattle Pride over 1,200 metres in Class Four last time and Seattle Pride has franked that form by winning in Class Three since. Allegresse appears to have progressed from the outing and yesterday he worked in silky smooth fashion when easily strolling clear of galloping companion Blue And Gold.
The latter is by no means a bad worker so this looked a significant piece from Allegresse. Looking at this seventh event, Patrick Biancone's Super Fellow appears to have worked much better this season compared to some rather lacklustre efforts last campaign. He should also benefit from the move to a mile and could be the main danger to Allegresse. Sun Crest had done very little work before his seasonal reappearance down the straight 1,000-metre course. He, too, must be respected as there was much more purpose about him yesterday when trainer David Oughton equipped him with blinkers.
Those blinkers are reapplied tomorrow and Sun Crest's chance must be respected with that man Mick Kinane doing the riding. Tomorrow's first event looks a minefield. Wonderful has appeared to have worked and trialled well and he could well be a typical Wong Tang-ping improver now he has dropped to a handicap mark in the bowels of Class Five. But there is a nagging doubt that he is a free-running sort and his morning work may be deceptive. Ivan Allan's Fast Forward looks much fitter for this first race compared to his reappearance and is likely to improve considerably.
The champion trainer's Kaarpargen now looks ready to do battle for the second event. His trackwork has been impressive, not least in a jump out on Thursday morning when he accounted for Aspire. He will be very hard to beat. The potential improver and the dark horse in the race is Gary Ng Ting-keung's Horse-Laugh who has just started to come to himself. Cambridge Success, representing the brothers Cruz went into everyone's notebook last time running on strongly over 1,400 metres.
He has worked strongly and fluently since then and is set to make an impact in a competitive third race for which Oughton's Face The Odds has come on most markedly since his reappearance. Like Sun Crest, the reapplication of blinkers appears to have rekindled his racing spirit. But watch out for Biancone's newcomer Sentosa.
He has shaped most encouragingly. Hidden Treasure now looks at his peak for the fifth as does the front-running Green World. David Hill's Sir Valid is flying in readiness for the sixth. He should go well. The big question mark is whether he can run out a mile. There were also three trials on the main all-weather at Sha Tin yesterday morning with Geoff Lane's Heavily Armed putting in a quality effort to take the first. Chris Cheung's Optic Empire looked much fitter in running third to Heavily Armed while Electric Flash never came off the bridle to run fourth as William's Tact stayed on strongly for fifth. This looked to be a very good heat indeed.