Klammer has the form on his side
Elegance Klammer's rich vein of form makes him the one to beat again in the Ho Chung River Handicap (1,650m) at Happy Valley tonight, but the John Moore-trained four-year-old has a hurdle to jump.
A wide draw is not the issue for Elegance Klammer (Brett Prebble) as he races so much better coming around the field - wins at this trip from gates 11 and 10 at his past two starts bear witness to that.
And a rise in grade is nothing since there is little doubt that, now Elegance Klammer is back to the form he showed as a two-year-old in the UK, he belongs in Class Two and may stretch to triple figures in the ratings before he gets found out.
What is a problem is tempo.
Real Supreme will roll forward and Emperor Claudius (Douglas Whyte) has been a lead-running horse since his arrival, but how much competition will be on the front end? Perhaps Oracle will again roll forward with a light weight, as he did in a stronger 1,800m two weeks ago? Could Leeli's Star be ridden handy stepping to the extended mile, as was his tactic over similar distances in France? He showed enough speed in his 1,400m and 1,000m runs to lead them, but whether that's the plan from gate 12 will be the question.
So we would love to bet after 400m, when we will know much more, but what is obvious is that Elegance Klammer has the form and the hottest jockey-trainer combination.
At odds, one of the main dangers may be Elegance Desire (Weichong Marwing), formerly with Moore and owned in similar interests to Elegance Klammer but nowadays with Francis Lui Kin-wai.
His prospects are something of a gamble, but it's difficult to forget that run first-up from a long injury break in January when he may have gone close to winning on the all-weather but for trouble in running.
Since then, Elegance Desire's career has been a disappointing Sha Tin turf run, an injury break and a sub-par return when lacking full fitness. His latest run was also moderate, but on a wet Sha Tin track that suited only those that handled it on the day. From gate one, he can improve.