David Hayes believes Happy Valley’s unique contours are the key to Nervous Witness’ chances of making a winning return in the Class 2 Hip Wo Handicap (1000m) at the City Circuit on Sunday (6 February).
Unbeaten in his first two starts over 1000m at Sha Tin, Nervous Witness created a huge impression before suffering successive defeats, including a last-start second to subsequent G3 winner Master Eight on 21 November.
Hayes trialled Nervous Witness at Happy Valley on 22 January and was delighted with the gelding’s performance to clock 57.85s in winning the trial by three and three-quarter lengths.
“He was impressive in his trial, he wasn’t out to win but he did it very easily which is always a good sign and he leant into the bends and looked like he handled the Valley very, very well,” Hayes said. “We’re looking forward to him with fresh legs. I think he’s a very good fresh horse.
“I am sure that he’s a horse who will be better on a bend than a straight. I’m thinking he’ll be able to cruise into the bend and kick strongly. I thought his last run was fine but my feel was that his form was just tapering off.
“His first two wins were brilliant in very, very fast times and then he probably just peaked and lost his form.”