HAIL TO THE KING
Exciting Fairy King Prawn is likely to be the star of the show when the TVB Cup is run at Sha Tin today on an entertaining mixed programme.
The Class One longer sprint has attracted a quality field and it looks an open affair as the topweight and top-quality sprinter, Bumper Storm, is resuming after his efforts in the Invitation Bowl in December.
At his peak Bumper Storm would be an automatic choice to win this 11-runner event but he is burdened with topweight of 137 pounds and he is also just a little bit rusty.
Trainer David Hill would be happy to settle for a good run and a minor placing.
'It is going to be hard for him. It is a lot of weight to carry and he also has to give a fair bit away to good young horses,' said Hill.
'He has pleased me in his work but he should really need a good run to bring him back. It has been two and a half months since his Invitation Bowl run.
'I am certainly hoping for the best but, to be frank, I would say a minor placing might be his best hope.' Bumper Storm trialled on Tuesday and is coming back but the main prizes are ahead for him - the second and third legs of the Sprint Championship. However, he should not be excluded from quinella and tierce bets because he does have plenty of class and that will show through today.
Fairy King Prawn is only just in the handicap but his last effort was another great one - although he, too, is resuming.
But he has been working well and the biggest threat may be the distance.
Fairy King Prawn is giving the indication that he may be better over 1,400 metres - the trip he scored over last time - but fresh, he may just get away with this.
Steven King, his regular rider, is an avowed fan.
'I think he's a lovely horse. He has a lot of ability and he answers up when you ask him to. It would be a pleasure riding a few more like him,' he said.
The Patrick Biancone-trained Triple Expresso will also come solidly into the reckoning as he has drawn against the rails and likes to get out and going.
In the absence of stable jockey Eric Legrix, Biancone has remained faithful to Eddie Lai who rode the horse to success, course and distance, last time.
The reliable Cheers Win, with Basil Marcus aboard, does not run a bad race and his battling qualities make him a favourite with punters.
He may be just short of top class but if Bumper Storm does need the outing and Fairy King Prawn prefers it slightly longer, then Cheers Win is going to be among the chances.
Special has done little recently to encourage any support and it will be hard for the three nestling at the bottom of the handicap - Danswinner, Colourful Era and the almost embarrassing Adeewin.
Leading trainer Tony Cruz saddles three runners with retained rider Eric Saint-Martin partnering Danzighill for whom a case can also be made.
He ran well after a good break recently and Danzighill should be ripe.
The King Of Cloyne has more than reasonable form but has found it hard to win since scoring on debut.