Gallant Melrose Star set to shine brightest in TT opener
Consistency points to Melrose Star as banker material in the opening leg of tomorrow afternoon's Happy Valley Triple Trio.
Trainer Peter Ho Leung saddled the quinella the last time Melrose Star ran as he chased home stablemate Dynamic Tension in a maximum 2,400-metre staying event on the dirt.
Melrose Star had Full Marks a short-head behind in third that day, but Full Marks seemed to need every bit of the 2,400-metre trip to get into full flight.
Melrose Star's overall form points to tomorrow's drop to 2,200 metres as being no problem at all. It could even be an advantage.
He has also been racing well for sometime now and looks to have very solid form credentials.
Ho could even be in line for another stable quinella as his Multi-Colours has gone firmly into the notebook on a couple of occasions and should appreciate the move up to 2,200 metres.
Bruce Hutchison is enjoying a good burst of form with a couple of recent doubles.
His improving Antonhill Boom must come in for serious TT consideration as he's been racing as if this move up to 2,200 metres would see him extremely competitive.
Kintanto was noticed doing good late work over an inadequate 1,400 metres last time. He has patches of fair form and should relish this staying trip.
Piece Of Cake has not been suited by racing on dirt.
However, he's well handicapped and the return to grass should see him go well.
It should be a relatively even track as the rail is moving back in from the 'C+3' to the 'A' position.
Even so, it is probably best to side with those who can race forward than those who can't, which is why Honest Dragon looks as good a chance as any in the fourth. He appears to have improved since joining Ho, winning once and running a good third over 1,400 metres last time. He's now moving to a mile, but has the natural speed to race prominently and take some running down.
His apprentice, Henry K. C. Tsang, appears to be good value for his seven-pound claim.
Bold Dancer is never far away in this grade, which is a level that also suits Gainsborough's Boy.
The Best Winner went most firmly into the notebook last time when he finished strongly without having any luck at all at Sha Tin.
He's a top chance for the in-form Hutchison stable in the sixth, which concludes the TT, but it is interesting that Robbie Fradd, who rode The Best Winner last time, appears to have opted to stick with the consistent Billion Delight, who is racing at a career peak.
It may pay to use one of these two as the banker though the likes of Inventor, who's been freshened, Full Metal Jacket, Amza Glory, Sheer Madness and Indy's Gem all have legitimate place claims.