Champion Whyte Can Do it again
Douglas Whyte will start today as the shortest Jockey Challenge in recent memory, but has the book to back the skinny quote and should salute for the fourth time in five meetings.
Whyte starts the day with a likely odds-on chance in the opening event, on the John Size-trained Red Courage, who made solid race-to-race improvement between his first two starts, and the meeting takes a familiar look from then on for the premiership leader.
But if Whyte is defeated in the first race, wait until before race five as his odds will likely drift from the $1.30 he was last night, and that's where his day really takes on an ominous look.
The South African climbs aboard King Galileo for the first time, with the Andreas Schutz-trained stayer seemingly well placed in a Class Five over 2,000m.
Nicholson has his first start for Richard Gibson, and Whyte will be hoping to keep his perfect record on the former David Hall miler, who he has ridden twice previously - the horse's only two wins.
Dominant showed he could run a strong 2,400m in the Queen Mother Memorial Cup earlier this month, and maybe some inside knowledge about his former ride Ambitious Dragon, who could be considered suspect at the trip, can help bring down the Horse of the Year and race favourite.
Unbeaten Can Do, another up-and-comer from the Size camp, has shown he is well-above average in two wins and should be too good in Class Three.
The final two races provide solids chances for Whyte - the well-drawn Xilai Xianzi and Real Specialist, a horse suited to the 1,800m.
Last night there was some money for second favourite Brett Prebble - backed from $6 into $5 - he has a decent nine rides, the best of them Captain Sweet in a severely weakened Group Three Sha Tin Vase.