12/11/2001 12:00AM

Hong Kong Sprint gears up


HONG KONG - Morluc, seeking to improve this Sunday on last year's close second-place finish in the Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin, switched from a gallop on the dirt to a gallop on the turf Tuesday morning.

Morluc cantered nine furlongs under a tight hold on the right-handed Sha Tin course for trainer Randy Morse. Both Morluc and Falvelon, the Australian who beat him a head in last year's Sprint, are expected to put in a serious bit of work on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for what promises to be a mouthwatering rematch in Sunday's five-furlong, $1 million, Group 2 event.

White Heart impressed work-watchers on Monday with a six-furlong move as he prepares for the 1 1/2-mile Hong Kong Vase, in which he will be ridden by Gary Stevens, who arrived from Los Angeles on Tuesday night after an unscheduled stop in Taiwan.

Stevens also has the call on Hong Kong Sprint veteran Nuclear Debate. A Kentucky-bred gelding, Nuclear Debate will be trying the straight five furlongs at Sha Tin for the third time Sunday, but for the first time in the care of Darrell Vienna. He galloped on Tuesday with the air of a horse who knows everything there is to know about Sha Tin.