Wong seeks All The Glory
After his headline-grabbing appearance in the inquiry room before the start of racing at Sha Tin today, trainer Alex Wong Yu-on will surely be hoping to make it to the winner's podium for the presentation of the featured Yan Chai Trophy.
Wong, who is due to face the stipendiary stewards along with Bruce Hutchison for an altercation at trackwork on Thursday morning, is represented by the gutsy All The Glory in the sixth event.
The rising six-year-old has been good for Wong since his griffin days when he won two for visiting German jockey Peter Schiergen, now successfully training in his native country.
All The Glory is more a tentative than totally confident selection in a Classes One and Two event over 1,400 metres that bristles with pitfalls. A number in the full field of 14 are starting for the first time this season, while others have not all impressed in first-up runs but are clearly capable of substantial improvement.
All The Glory did impress in his seasonal reappearance when he was not particularly fancied in a longer sprint and ridden by local ace Stanley K. M. Chin, who was left in the unenviable position of having to hope that boom galloper Universal Winner might get a start in today's event.
He didn't and is down as first reserve, which means the useful ride on All The Glory has gone to Douglas Whyte, who has partnered the gelding in the past.
There was plenty to like about All The Glory's first run as he finished a length and a half away from shock winner Aggressive Dragon in what was a pretty hot contest. He was only just behind Australian import Schubert and there is every indication that fellow will go on to bigger things.
All The Glory is suited these days by the 1,400 metres and looks certain to give a real sight - although it would be unwise to take very short odds about him. Frankly, 5-1 the field looks about right here.
All The Glory's stablemate Win-Etic, ridden to success by Whyte in the past, also ran well for Chin first-up, but is coming back in distance to 1,400 metres. With maximum claimer Carol W. S. Yu up, this consistent type does get considerable weight relief and is certainly not hopeless.
Chagall sprang a minor surprise last time, course and distance, with a strong-finishing second under Alan Munro when coming from the rear of the field.
As trainer David Oughton's horses are in rare form these days, this one should certainly be kept safe.
The one capable of tipping them all out is the Geoff Lane-trained Orlando Magic, also starting for the second time this season.
He will again be ridden by table-topping Robbie Fradd and, course and distance earlier, Orlando Magic ran most encouragingly. That was in the final event on opening day when he was just a length off shock winner Inventor.
Orlando Magic has always been capable of striking a blow in this company and he has certainly not gone backwards since that first-day effort. He looks to have been set for this event and looks prime quinella and tierce material.
Danetop has not always been consistent but is a threat on his day, while Tequila Pop, on the pick of his form, would be a definite chance.
Shinnecock Hills jumps from a very wide barrier but was not disgraced when at long odds on his seasonal debut, which was also under Felix Coetzee.
The main contender from the David Hayes stable, however, is likely to be the Basil Marcus-ridden Songs Of Victory, who has impressed in work and should run boldly on his reappearance.
Trobis, with Alex K. S. Yu up, makes some appeal - particularly as he could well be over the odds. This is his trip and he could be the one for value.