Keep your Wits about you and back Praise and County
POOR jockey Derek Leung has felt the wrath of frustrated owners, who have dispensed with his services, after being beaten on the ironically named OWNERS’ PRAISE three weeks ago.
Leung, who came from last to first when winning on the four-year-old last month, subsequently found himself all dressed up and nowhere to go behind Regent Glory and had to accept the situation when the gaps didn’t appear in the closing stages.
This time the four-year-old is partnered by reigning champion Zac Purton, in the United Alumni Handicap (8.40am) over a mile and, given luck in running, should be hard to beat.
A low draw number is a plus, and the fact the son of Toronado is stepping up to a mile for the first time – this should prove his optimum trip – makes him the obvious choice.
The feature race on the card has to be the Shaw Alumni Handicap (9.40am) over the straight five furlongs.
With the field containing four last-start winners and many course and distance specialists, this should be a contest to savour, although the old saying “blink and you’ll miss it” springs to mind.
Earlier this month, Cheval Valiant joined a select band of sprinters who have dipped under 56 seconds on the five furlongs track and, although up in class and carrying a penalty, he will be fancied to successfully follow-up.
Making more appeal, however, is the Purton-ridden SEASONS WIT, who is equipped with blinkers for the first time, having won with them on in Australia, and who produced a highly encouraging debut when runner-up at Happy Valley early this month. In addition, judged by a recent trial, he has improved further of late.
In a race which will produce a blistering end-to-end gallop, it may pay to have a saver on NICCONI COUNTY who will appreciate the frenetic early pace and is guaranteed to be finishing strongly in the closing stages.
Owners’ Praise 8.40am Sha Tin
Seasons Wit 9.40am Sha Tin
Nicconi County (e/w) 9.40am Sha Tin