Leung's Chief Commander to bounce back
English rider Philip Robinson and local trainer Stephen Leung, who went so close to Derby glory together when Indigenous charged home for third behind Oriental Express, now look Triple Trio bankers with Chief Commander in tomorrow night's Class Six third event on the Sha Tin dirt.
It may be the sublime to the ridiculous but the rich spectrum of racing that the territory offers is all part of the attraction of the sport.
Chief Commander has been off the track since disappointing behind Hung Hing Tai in a Class Six 1,200-metre dash at Happy Valley during the middle of October. It was a run which attracted the stewards' attention and an inquiry was held.
But the fact was that Chief Commander was bumped early on and blew his chance at the start.
Prior to that he had run a solid second to Good Tension over the same course and distance and that form entitles him to run into the placings tomorrow night, especially if Robinson can bounce him out and get him racing in the first four or five.
Diamond Chance has been in good form for Ricky Yiu in similar Class Six sprints and is another to throw into the Triple Trio, along with Brian Kan's Bold Print, who ran well for a long way last time and now looks to be at his peak, and Wong Tang-ping's Fairy Fun, who should be running home strongly under Anton Marcus.
Always Luck, representing Tony Cruz and Basil Marcus - always a combination to be respected - appears to have started to improve in his work and Malayan Treasure should be leading for a long way but may have to work too hard too early from his outside barrier.
Sun-Rise should be able to lead in the fourth and could surprise at decent odds under the local jockey Victor C. F. Chan. Sun-Rise has blistering early pace and he needed his belated reappearance on the grass where he adopted his customary front-running tactics before compounding in the race won by Straight Way.
That event came on a track which was heavily biased towards the outside and thus against the leaders and horses like Sun-Rise.
Tomorrow night the dirt should favour the leaders in these sprints. It did last time and Sun-Rise could well cling on grimly for at least a tierce placing. Roaring Success is such a good worker that he is likely to be suited by the dirt. Sumotori put in a huge run on the grass last time when third to Fukien Boy. He is in tremendous form and has to be thrown in along with the consistent Schnitzer. Centre Court loves the dirt but he may now be up as far in the ratings as he wants to go.
Bankers are not easy to find in the sixth event. Perhaps the best of them is the dirt-loving Third Time Lucky, who did not have the clearest of runs when third to Streak of Dawn and Flowers Comrade two starts ago over course and distance.
Chiu Chow Warrior is now in the right grade and definitely warrants Triple Trio respect.