Duelling pair stand out again in the TT
Three weeks after fighting out a thrilling finish, Super Caga and Deep Thinker return to the scene of their duel in the opening leg of Sunday's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
Deep Thinker loomed like he would break his local maiden in a 1,400m Class Three last month, quickly sprinting from the rear to hit the lead before Super Caga rallied after being clearly passed, fighting his way back to win by a head.
Over the same course and distance (1,400m), the pair - drawn well - appeal as bankers in a weak Class Three event.
The TT will be bolstered by a HK$4.5 million jackpot, and while the estimated HK$9 million dividend won't come easy, taking a risk and playing narrow in the opening leg will help kick things along.
Super Caga is one of the many success stories from rookie trainer Richard Gibson, the seven-year-old having vaulted from the bottom of Class Four with four wins from 11 starts. The run shows no signs of abating and, on Sunday, the versatile gelding again gets the services of jockey Tim Clark, who is out to make it a perfect three-from-three record on the horse.
Super Caga has shown he is adaptable to race anywhere in a field but, from gate five, Clark may try and find the rail before letting likely leader Double Dragon cross in to the lead from his wider gate.
Ricky Yiu Poon-fai's Deep Thinker has mixed form in his seven starts, and has also been positioned both handily and from back in the field, although last time out it was missing the start that saw the four-year-old dropped to the rear and ridden cold.
After an inexplicable failure first time up to 1,400m, Deep Thinker's last three starts have been better course and distance efforts - running on for third, then fourth, before the last-start runner-up performance.
The key for Deep Thinker is gate two, from where William Pike can let the four-year-old find his own rhythm without having to be concerned with finding a one-off spot.
Even without playing the double banker, try and nail the opening leg, a race with a starling lack of depth, many of the runners out of form imports desperate for a drop into Class Four.
First-starter Superninsky (Olivier Doleuze) comes in off a solitary 1,000m turf trial, but it was a good one, and he could be a blow-out chance.
Brett Prebble continues his deadly association with John Moore on Gene Power. Moore and Prebble have combined for 12 wins from 45 starts this season, representing a strike rate of 27 per cent.
Gene Power hasn't won locally and has drawn wide in 10, but is coming off two eye-catching performances, one of which - where he missed the start at Happy Valley but trucked on gamely for a midfield finish - -appears in the form guide as a non-runner.
The middle pin is a 1,650m Class Four on the dirt, and David Hall's tough on-pacer Handsome Batchelor (Prebble) could be the best banker after drawing pole.
Perfect Joy's good recent form has attracted the services of Douglas Whyte and the only concern for him is finding a forward enough spot from barrier nine.
Eastern Empire (Tye Angland) is a must include as his last three runs have been great and, while he hasn't been on the dirt for Danny Shum Chap-shing, the six-year-old notched a course and distance victory for former trainer Tony Cruz.
Mr Marfach (Ben So Tik-hung) has been better over further than this, but a freshen up and a spritely 1,200m trial on the surface two weeks ago indicate he could run a sneaky race.
The final leg, a Class Four over 1,800m, is by far the most open at the top end and hardest to sort out for a banker.
Breeze of Luck benefitted from a gutsy ride from Prebble last time out after the jockey skirting wide to find better ground. The four-year-old is headed in the right direction and should appreciate a step up in distance.
Kingston Spartacus (Eddie Lai Wai-ming) is another last-start winner who should go in, along with the well-drawn Let's Goal (Whyte).
Super Bobo (Derek Leung Ka-chun) has claims and Ferrabosco (Terry Wong Chi-wai) could be hard to run down if he gets a soft lead.
Triple Trio jackpot one lucky punter can claim for just $10