Master Of Hall to capture Royal Day Trophy
MASTER OF HALL appears to have come to hand and is on a two-timer heading into this afternoon's Royal Dad Trophy at nine furlongs and 25 yards, tackling non-winners-of-three after a very easy win among non-twos a month ago.
Touted as a 'derby horse' after romping home on debut late May and narrowly losing to ROYAL AVIATOR two and a half weeks later, MASTER OF HALL missed the big June 30 event with an injury and flopped as a 1-2 favourite on his August 18 comeback.
He set the record straight in his next race, running away from JACKO LINKS at a mile on September 1 and has been looking better at exercise with every gallop since - 1:08.2 for five and a half, followed by six furlongs in 1:15.1, upside FRANCIA's PRIDE a week later.
MASTER OF HALL now faces better opposition, such as the filly AZARIA, who became a revelation after being stretched out midway the classic season - fifth in the derby and fourth in the St Leger. In addition to AZARIA, Richard Azan's AXLE ROD and ANNA LISA will also get the distance, especially having all produced decent efforts in their last outings.
However, MASTER OF HALL is at home going two turns. The Emperor Hall-Noassemblyrequired offspring went down by a length to ROYAL AVIATOR in 1:58.4, the same day AZARIA beat AXLE ROD by a head, clocking 2:00.3, at nine furlongs and 25 yards - a difference of almost two seconds.
His August 18 loss can be written off as a fluke, installed a 1-2 favourite to put away a field, which included GIFT OF LAW, who he had beaten by almost nine lengths when second to ROYAL AVIATOR.
MASTER OF HALL broke slow and was used up by Gary Richards to get into the pace. He got into a duel with stablemate EMPRESS NICOLE, a 99-1 outsider, from the half-mile and surprisingly found nothing up the lane.
Though beating JACKO LINKS last out might not be much to shout about, MASTER OF HALL's final time at a mile, 1:40.3, was franked by the runner-up, who returned to comfortably beat ELAL and LORD ASHTON in his very next race at seven and a half furlongs.
Even his exercise form has been franked by stablemate FRANCIA'S PRIDE, who afterwards ran her best race in moons, going down by three lengths to DONTAE in last Wednesday's Kenneth Mattis Memorial at 10 furlongs.