Phil, given that that is a hand-held pan of a fast moving subject, that is a pretty decent image.
Thanks Harriet and Scott. I think I need a steadier tripod, though - I tried some more distant shots today under even worse lighting conditions (I was out doing some errands and got off to a late start) and didn't get a single useable shot (also I forgot to turn off the SR, didn't think to use a remote release, and also tried a Sigma 1.4 TC).
I will try again tomorrow - earlier when the light is better, and better prepared. Yesterday and today I used my D-160 Star D, which is a well braced sturdy tripod, but requires raising the center column to get it to eye level, so I really need a taller one to better damp any vibration, as this combo weighs nearly 5 pounds!. I would have used the tall Velbon video tripod I have with a fluid pan head (I always thought those were called fluid because of the smooth movement, and not actual fluid) but when I got it out, I found that the head had had leaked - very messy!.
I also should have a Safe Lock PT-3 which would have been ideal, and my first choice, but I can't find where I stored it - it was too big to fit in the cabinet with the other tripods (tripods and camera bags are like women's purses - you never seem to have enough of them). I haven't used it in a while, but I can't understand how I could misplace something that big.
This lens will require some getting used to, I think. What I don't particularly care for is the bokeh - OOF background objects show multiple overlapping images rather than a smooth blur.