Munro to atone on Figure
Will It Figure can make up for some luckless but highly creditable recent efforts by taking the sixth event on what appears to be a good betting card at Happy Valley this evening.
The David Oughton-trained seven-year-old is a thorough staying type who gets every bit of tonight's 2,200-metre trip.
And he has been most unlucky not to have won on his past two outings.
Two runs ago he was checked at least a length and probably committed a shade too late in the run when 1.75-lengths second to Highland Dancer in exactly the same kind of race as tonight - namely a Classes Four and Five 2,200-metre contest. On that effort he is confidently expected to confirm the form with Multi-Colours and Sky Hawk.
Then last time he suffered even more interference, probably to the tune of two lengths and, arguably, was once again asked for his effort too late when 3.5-lengths fifth to stablemate Surprise Surprise.
With these stayers whose run pattern is to rattle home from the rear, it can be misleading to automatically say they would have won or finished closer if they had been asked for an effort earlier, just because they finish strongly but too late.
It could be that if they were asked earlier, they wouldn't get home.
But in Will It Figure's case, especially on his most recent outing, it did appear that he was asked for his effort at least a tad too late.
Both Melrose Star and Shine Of Kowloon finished ahead of Will It Figure last time but given the interference, and the way the race developed, the selection is fancied to reverse the form and looks to have strong each-way claims.
Oughton has his stable in good form and jockey Alan Munro has been banging home a steady stream of winners, including Legitimate on Sunday.
The biggest factor against Will It Figure is the likely track bias.
The rail is out to the 'C' position tonight and that usually confers a strong bias to those racing on the pace. But in staying races that bias, for some reason, can often prove to be less profound than at shorter distances. Melrose Star remains a leading quinella chance while watch out for Dynamic Tension who benefited from a move up in distance, despite being bred to sprint, when a close second to Surprise Surprise over 2,000 metres at Sha Tin last time.
Elsewhere on the programme, the Kieren Fallon bandwagon can continue to roll in the second event where his Super Competitor looks hard to beat in a thin contest where dangers are few and far between.
Star Of Hong Kong went into the notebook on the dirt last time and can benefit from the drop into Class Five for the first time and take the fifth event.
He, too, has been found a seemingly uncompetitive event and is entitled to win this on a couple of his solid Class Four efforts.
William's Surpass and City Patrol should give a good account of themselves in the last.