Turbo King to put best foot forward
Talented sprinter Turbo King is having to make up for lost time after losing most of the season through injury, but last year's Happy Valley Million Challenge winner gets his chance to strike an overdue win in the Hing Man Handicap (1,200m) tonight.
As a three-year-old, Turbo King (Tim Clark) looked to have it all before him, with four wins and three seconds from his first eight starts and the Million Challenge he picked up along the way.
Trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung had the gelding in the early stages of his 2011-12 campaign last August before he was forced to stop due to a nearside front fetlock problem and worse was to come, with a fracture to the cannon bone on the same leg reported subsequently. That kept Turbo King sidelined until the halfway point of the season, then another joint problem on his right foreleg in March set the sprinter back.
So it has been a tough season for Turbo King, but lately Man has been able to get two runs into him at Sha Tin and the latest indicated the four-year-old is just about ready to show his best again.
With Clark aboard, Turbo King travelled still a touch fresh, then had some trouble getting clear but he loomed at the 200m like he was going to run a race before his fitness gave out.
That run should top him off nicely for this Class One sprint, where Turbo King will get the one benefit that comes with the problems he has had - he'll be the fresh horse on the scene.
Clark should get the right run from a middle draw in seven, parked off what should be a decent speed set by Arrived Ahead (Douglas Whyte) and Horse Galore and launch his bid in the final 200m under his light handicap.
An obvious danger in what is a deep race is track-specialist Legendary Dragon (Mark du Plessis), who has four wins from four Valley starts.
The Ricky Yiu Poon-fai-trained gelding was able to ping the gates and overcome barrier 11 to find a good position last start and Du Plessis will be hoping the race breaks similarly from gate 10.