Common can help fans reach TT Goal
A change in trainer and the addition of blinkers should bring about a turnaround for Common Goal with the grey looming as a decent banker option in the middle leg of a huge Triple Trio at Sha Tin tomorrow.
After 161-1 shot Gold Tartini saluted in the final leg last Saturday, an already jackpot-bolstered TT went unclaimed and nearly HK$7 million lies waiting in tomorrow's pool, which officials estimate should lead to a HK$11 million dividend.
With the chance of inflated payouts, it might pay to play tight, and start by making stable transfer Common Goal the stand-out in a Class Four over 1,400m.
After 18 winless efforts for the struggling yard of Andy Leung Ting-wah, a much-anticipated move was made to Manfred Man Ka-leung, with the horse arriving not having being worked for a month after a third at Happy Valley in late February.
Within four weeks, the horse was at the trials with cups on for the first time in a 1,050m heat on the all-weather track, the surface where his best runs have been, and he burst to life under Brett Prebble.
Another trial hit-out, sans shades, wasn't as eye-catching, but tomorrow he makes his debut for Man, again with Prebble aboard, with the necessary head gear to bring about a forward showing over 1,400m. If this race was on the dirt, it would add more confidence, but the five-year-old Australian-bred has performed well enough on the turf to suggest he can compete in Class Four, even with 131 pounds.
A lack of speed should mean Maelstrom (Tim Clark), another fly in the ointment for players last weekend when he ran a cheeky third, could lead again from gate nine and cause problems in front if left alone.
Tracking over from gate 13 and going forward will be last-start Class Five victor Winning Mascot, carrying just 112 pounds courtesy of the seven-pound allowance for apprentice Alvin Ng Ka-chun, whose confidence appears to be slowly building again after some recent success.
Theheroinmyheart (Weichong Marwing) was disappointing last start after seemingly building to a win, but deserves another chance from gate three, even with a slow pace to work against him. Danny Shum Chap-shing's first starter, Wonderland (Olivier Doleuze), is a raw three-year-old who is still learning, but after showing enough in five trials and drawing gate one, he can be included.
The opening leg is a Class Four over 2,200m and while the Caspar Fownes-trained Victory Mascot (Prebble) seems a better horse at Happy Valley, he can act at Sha Tin and is a last-start winner who has drawn well (five).
Don't leave out Super Strike (Tye Angland) as he drops back into his right grade, where he has won four of 17, including a course and distance win earlier this season.
Handsome Batchelor (Ng) should go in, along with Kensworth Kid (Douglas Whyte), who didn't handle Happy Valley last start.
The advantage to horses drawn nearest to the grandstand rail in straight races is far more pronounced than it is for runners drawn inside on the circle, so bear this in mind when making selections for the final leg, a Class Three over 1,000m.
The Sha Tin five-furlong chute is a real specialists' course and Ultimate Winners (Doleuze), who has two wins and two seconds from five course-and-distances starts, added to his reputation as a one-act affair with a last-start failure at Happy Valley.
Back to his pet track and from barrier 11, he goes in, along with four more selections drawn on the right side of the track - Zezao (Whyte), Hawthorne (Derek Leung Ka-chun), Bullish King (Matthew Chadwick) and bottom-weight Lifeline Elite (Willie Pike).
The expected dividend one lucky punter could take home for a $10 ticket