Marcus the man to anchor TT wagers
That man Basil Marcus, a sixth title all but in his vice-like grip, can anchor the final leg of tomorrow night's Sha Tin Triple Trio.
Marcus, who has visibly raised his already high standard in an effort to repel Douglas Whyte's considerable championship challenge, partners Fortune Tycoon for retaining trainer David Hayes.
Hayes, himself, is having to pull out all the stops in order to keep defending champion trainer Ivan Allan at bay.
But while Fortune Tycoon may struggle to win, and it has to be admitted he might well have been expected to have already won by now, given the promise of his debut run, he does look the best horse around with which to banker bets in the TT's concluding leg.
So Great, representing trainer John Moore whose horses invariably come with a rush over the last couple of months of the season but this time round more so than ever, is another to keep firmly on side.
He's ridden by Whyte, who won't have given up all hope of catching Marcus just yet, even though he doesn't just have a mountain to climb to catch him, he has a whole range of Himalayan proportions to traverse.
Tremendous Way won well last time over course and distance in a fairly strong race. He's been re-handicapped for that and may not get the fast pace he needs to bring him into the race.
But then last time it turned out to be a much stronger pace than anticipated and he sliced through them under Alan Munro, to whom it seems strange that Australian rider Danny Nikolic is preferred, given Munro knows this enigmatic character so well.
Ultra Tension has been crying out for this course and distance.
He's definitely worth throwing in to the TT and could even be worth a win and place bet on the day.
Be My Heart would have finished a fair bit closer last time had he been ridden out to the line. He should appreciate the 1,800-metre trip.
Rocket Green is likely to be in peak condition but he was given a good ride last time by Marcus and is now ridden by the inexperienced claimer C. T. Cheng.
Marcus is again taken as the banker in the third event which opens the TT.
He rides Great Honour for Francis Lui who was granted a full trainer's licence this week which justifiably rewards him for the first-class job he's done under difficult circumstances since he took over from the suspended Tony P. H. Chan in the wake of the ICAC racing raids in the spring of last year.
Great Honour has thrived since moving to Lui and has strong recent form.
He finds winning very tough and lacks 'bottle' when it comes to a battle.
But he only has to place. He's good at that and so is Marcus.
Lucky Day, Great Honour's nemesis last time, comes firmly into calculations while it may be worth giving Winning Luck another chance.
Ming Treasure is blinkered for the second time and, with Brian Kan Ping-chee's gallopers popping up all over the place of late, he could go well in one of the weakest races he's contested, despite the distance being shorter than ideal.
Colourful World would beat the lot of these if he were anywhere near the horse he was at the back end of last season.
The night meeting should be in his favour as he loves to get his toe in and the track has that much more moisture in it by night compared to the afternoon meetings.
The Bruce Hutchison-trained Fred looks one of the main form picks in the fourth event after two very creditable efforts.
Calculation won in a useful Topspeed time recently and should go well.
Espresso, who almost certainly needed the run last time and has worked fluently since, is also well in contention.
Medic Star, Ovation and Kevmate look the other main contenders in this middle pin to the TT.