The Pleasure's all yours
Just For Pleasure is strongly fancied to take the fourth event on tonight's Happy Valley card.
The Alex Wong Siu-tan-trained gelding has had all sorts of problems since arriving from Australia with a good reputation and only now appears to be coming right.
Last time he burst to the front some 200 metres out and looked all over the winner. But that was reckoning without the dashing late burst from Bruce Hutchison's Outstanding Lad, who caught him in the last stride or two.
All the same, it was a very creditable effort from Just For Pleasure on his second start back from a bleeding attack.
He hadn't been pushed too hard at the track going into the race, presumably due to the early season bleeding attack, and that outing should have helped bring him to peak fitness.
The form also reads well because the first two pulled some 2.5-lengths clear of their rivals and really dominated the race. It is invariably a sign of reliable form when two pull clear in this manner and don't worry too much that Outstanding Lad was beaten at the weekend - his defeat came in a much tougher race off a higher handicap rating.
As for Just For Pleasure's work since that head second to Outstanding Lad, it couldn't have been more pleasing.
He really looks to have thrived and rates a confident selection in what is not a particularly good race.
Star English jockey Alan Munro takes the ride and Munro, on the mark recently with John Moore's Canadian Champ and Chris Cheung's Perpetual Harmony, would dearly love to bang home a few winners for his retaining trainer Wong before they go their separate ways at the end of the season, with Munro moving to David Oughton, subject to the usual licensing committee approval.
Munro is also riding with confidence following those winners and has done extremely well, given that Wong's yard has been in the doldrums for much of the campaign, to have amassed 26 winners.
The biggest danger to Just For Pleasure, and the main quinella leg, could well be the Ivan Allan-trained Golden Bullet.
Golden Bullet's last run is best forgotten as he raced far too freely over a staying trip and predictably failed to get home.
But prior to that he'd put in a most encouraging display on his first start for the champion trainer, having previously been with - and won for - John Moore.
On that occasion he ran three-quarters of a length second to Full Metal Jacket over tonight's course and distance, making up a lot of ground in the concluding stages on a night when it was very tough for closers.
Full Metal Jacket has since progressed to place in Class Three, while third-placed Go Go Win has come out and won.
Golden Bullet trialled well down the straight 1,000-metre chute last Tuesday morning and could prove to be the one thorn in Just For Pleasure's side.