Marwing holds key to the pot of gold
With the end of the season in sight, punters have one of their last chances to play the Triple Trio for a big pot, with a HK$23 million dividend possible on Sunday at Sha Tin, and in-form jockey Weichong Marwing will be a key player in the middle leg.
Marwing has been racking them up lately and his ride in the fifth, Intellectualstride for Me Tsui Yu-sak looks the banker in the race.
The five-year-old has not yet delivered what he has promised at different times, but he is racing well at Happy Valley and looks ready for a step up from the short sprints. A third in March at the Valley was followed with an eye-catching sixth after being knocked down early in the race, then Marwing (pictured) was aboard when the gelding finished fifth to Mr Award, outsprinted in a very slowly run race. The only time Intellectualstride was tried at 1,400m he failed but pulled up lame in May last year.
Life Of Beauty (Matt Chadwick) has found his feet over this distance, winning four starts ago and finishing sound fourths at his two most recent runs behind Notus and Common Goal, and he has to go in combinations with last-start dirt winner, El Grande for visiting rider, Damien Oliver. El Grande's only effort on the Sha Tin turf was solid last season and, from gate one, he will get every chance. Players should include Papas, Potential, Travel Guide and Notus.
In the opening leg, players might do well to take note of Sunny Sky (Alex Lai Hoi-wing), despite his failure in sloppy conditions two weeks ago. Sunny Sky was a well-backed favourite coming off a good Class Five effort, but gave in meekly and it was the third time from as many goes that he has failed in wet going.
Provided he gets something firmer, Sunny Sky has strong claims with a light weight in a weak race. Also worth a look from a good draw is Full Spirit (Chadwick), although his form might not immediately read that way. He was another to fail two weeks back in the wet, but didn't have the best of luck prior after finishing third to Super Strike in January. He has dropped significantly in the ratings.
Back-up runner Nicholson, consistent Glory Of India, lightly-weighted Dark Secret and Clement Spirit, with blinkers going on, are also worth including.
Punters who have survived that far will be happy to get to the last leg as it looks the most straightforward of them, with a possible double banker play in Winning Mascot (Alvin Ng Ka-chun) and Depot Boy (Tim Clark).
It may be a race too late for those who backed Depot Boy from huge odds to 9-1 second-up from an injury break and had to watch him stopped cold in the straight with nowhere to go, but he looks a major player here.
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained gelding has shown some promise in his five starts. He steps to a mile for the first time, but his breeding and manner of racing suggest that will suit if Clark can overcome an awkward draw. And Winning Mascot caught the eye on wet ground a fortnight back when finishing sixth to Common Goal after striking trouble.
That was his first run from a four-month break; he'll be fitter and only has to be in the form he showed winning in Class Five before that to be a chance with 110 pounds. The five-year-old generally goes forward in his races and could be hard to run down.
After those two strong chances, the race opens up, with plenty of place players and Elephant Magic should be included dropping in grade, as should Good Thinker, Top Dragon, Iron Eagle and Global Fame.
The amount that the Triple Trio jackpot is expected to reach on Sunday