Holyangelholy is a class above the rest
Backing up two weeks after being one of the best things beaten this season, Holyangelholy gets a second chance to notch his maiden victory over the same course and distance on Sunday at Sha Tin.
Holyangelholy stands out as a banker in the final leg of an otherwise tough Triple Trio - his last-start failure as odds-on favourite to be forgiven as the three-year-old gets a low draw against a field of similar strength.
A product of the Dream Team of trainer John Size and jockey Douglas Whyte, who have combined for an amazing 47 wins this season, Holyangelholy went into his last start looking every bit the 1.6 hot pot he was sent out, after a solid debut effort and drawing gate one. Shortly after the kick, those odds looked overs after Whyte manoeuvred into the box seat behind Maelstrom, who is in the race again on Sunday.
Favourite backers were already queuing up to collect when it became clear that Zac Purton wasn't budging from outside Whyte, and his mount wasn't tiring, leaving Holyangelholy trapped on the fence.
As Maelstrom tired, Whyte barged through a barely-there gap, but Brett Prebble on Joyful Winner II - another backing up - had already stolen a march and crucial momentum, enough to prevail by a short head as Holyangelholy dived late.
From barrier three this time, expect Whyte to avoid traffic issues by staying one-off and, given clear running in the straight, he can win, even after a three-point hike in the handicaps, which will see him carry 131 pounds.
Two definite selections for tickets are promising three-year-olds Jolly Victor (Willie Pike) and Trendsetter (Olivier Doleuze) - both drawn well and coming off eye-catching last-start runs.
Jolly Victor is superbly bred, by Zabeel out of a Danehill mare, and equipped himself well on debut last time out over 1,400m - his last 200m the best of any in his race.
Others to consider are Green Eagle (Mark du Plessis), and despite drawing wide, Lord Dragon (Matthew Chadwick) and Fortune Bravo (Mark Zahra).
The TT opens with a Class Four thinned-out by five debutants, none of whom jump out as overly appealing. If Terry Wong Chi-wai can get Well Done into a one-off position from barrier eight he will be hard to beat after a tough last-start win at Happy Valley.
A Sha Tin Class Five failure back in January is a black mark against the Tony Millard-trained four-year-old, but Well Done seems to have turned the corner since then and coming back to the bigger track shouldn't hamper his chances.
Size brings Delish (James McDonald) back from a four-month break due to a bleeding attack. He has drawn three and, on his best form, should figure. Brothers In Arms (Pike) comes up in grade, but drawing one make him a live chance, and consider Peri Peri Saffron (Ben So Tik-hung) and Team Work (Whyte), despite their wide draws.
The middle pin is the toughest to find a standout, so instead play narrow, with as many selections as affordable - choose between Super Horse (Pike), Cosmo One (Brett Prebble), Thanksgiving (Tim Clark) and Electronic Fortune (McDonald).
The win strike rate that John Size and Douglas Whyte have combined for at Sha Tin this season