An unraced conditions contest to start the card and jockey bookings could be the key here. Francis Liu, who’s currently sitting second in the Hong Kong trainers standings, is doubly represented but there’s no doubt which is the pick of his pair. Sunny Star is the mount of Vincent Ho and it’s very much worth noting that the trainer’s last five winners have all been partnered by the 29-year-old.
They were on the mark on Wednesday too and could be way overpriced here. The obvious danger is the likely hot favourite Smiling Face, for Joao Moreira. The ‘Magic Man’ teams up with Douglas Whyte on the son of Acclamation and that pair were also on the mark at Happy Valley earlier in the week.
Anybody watching Happy Valley’s card two weeks ago will have put Noble Desire down as an extremely unlucky loser behind Zero Hedge, who runs later on the card. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong for Douglas Whyte’s charge and when he did get racing room 100m, he flew home to finish a hugely eye-catching fourth, beaten just two and a half lengths. On that run, he doesn’t need to step up to 1200m here but with Moreira aboard, this looks an excellent opportunity to gain compensation.
Trust Me bolted up when giving weight all around over course and distance last week and despite being hiked with an 8lbs rise, it’s hard to see him being denied the hat-trick here. Zero Hedge was a fortunate winner at Happy Valley two weeks ago so it could be down to Kurpany, under Trust Me’s regular pilot Zac Purton, to take the second spot.
Fantastic Show is going to be all the rage for the ‘Magic Man’ Moreira following two comprehensive wins over course and distance. The key to the five-year-old has been the addition of blinkers the last twice and along with the fact that he gets the 1400m really well, he rates as banker material. He still looks ahead of the handicapper judged on his most recent win. Joyful Heart was an unlucky loser three weeks ago and looks value to follow home Moreira’s mount.
This 1400m handicap won’t be won easy but we may have found one ahead of the Hong Kong handicapper. General’s Delight was having just his second career run when narrowly defeated over course and distance three weeks ago on a day when the gaps just didn’t appear in time for the four-year-old.
He takes on All In Mind once again but being 2lbs better off, and with plenty of improvement to come, he should go very close to winning this. There was nothing between Dragon General and Star Shine went they took each other on over course and distance back in February and being 2lbs better off for a nose defeat, Star Shine should turn the tables there. He rates as the main danger.
SUNNY STAR @ 3/1
NOBLE DESIRE @ 7/1
TRUST ME (NB) @ 7/2
FANTASTIC SHOW (NAP) @ 13/8
GENERAL’S DELIGHT @ 10/1