Supreme effort called for
Having seen his Chairman's Prize hopes dashed in the first 100 metres at Sha Tin on Saturday, trainer David Hill is keeping his fingers firmly crossed for better luck with Irish stayer Supreme Bases at the same venue tonight.
Supreme Bases is being seen in action for the first time since his good effort in the Hong Kong Gold Cup behind Indigenous and Hill has him ready for this event.
When racing was scrubbed 10 days ago because of the attentions of Typhoon Leo - and the Observatory - Hill re-entered Supreme Bases for this Class One, 1,800-metre event which has attracted a field of 12.
As with luckless Bumper Storm in the Chairman's Prize on Saturday, Supreme Bases had been set for the abandoned meeting but Hill has been able to reschedule quickly for tonight.
'He is quite all right over 1,800 metres and I think he will give a good sight here. Luckily, they were able to get this meeting in quickly and Supreme Bases has just been kept ticking over,' said Hill.
In the absence of stable jockey Felix Coetzee through injury, Hill has gone for defending champion Basil Marcus who rode for him in the halycon days of River Verdon.
It's a good choice as the South African will not allow Supreme Bases to idle as he has shown an inclination to do on occasion - particularly if he gets in front and thinks it is all over.
Supreme Bases is a little short of top class but he is very good when right and has scored in solid style over this trip earlier in the season. And his run in the Gold Cup was excellent.
He finished just over three lengths from Indigenous and, for a couple of strides, threatened to make it interesting. But he just could not quite get on terms to finish fifth.
Champion trainer David Hayes has Hunting Lad involved following his excellent winning effort over 1,600 metres recently.
The manner in which he cleared away at the line for Robbie Fradd suggests that, despite what the form book may show, Hunting Lad will get the extra 200 metres.
Hayes has engaged a maximum claimer and it certainly makes Hunting Lad attractively weighted. As he is likely to be at decent odds, it is worth considering him as a quinella and tierce proposition.
Old champion Privilege is just not the horse he was and is coming down the scale rapidly. But he has been so obviously not the force he was and has been so roundly beaten in recent runs, that it is difficult to suggest him on anything other than sentiment, which is not a particularly good way of making money.
Forest Spring is worth more than a passing thought now that he has returned to Sha Tin after a rather abortive outing to Happy Valley.
On his previous two outings at Sha Tin, both over tonight's distance, he comes solidly into calculations.
Top claimer Roger K. H. Yu has the ride for trainer Alex Wong Yu-on and he must have every chance of finishing in the frame. Forest Spring is a prime quinella chance.
Medic Pearl also has the right credentials to play a part in an event like this, even if his last run was disappointing behind Hunting Lad given the level of support for the Tony Cruz-trained galloper.
If he handles the trip and Philip C. T. Cheng rises to the occasion, then Hunting Lad can confirm the form with Medic Pearl. If Cheng is worth his claim, and recent performances suggest he is, then Hunting Lad is four pounds worse off for a whopping six and a quarter lengths defeat of Medic Pearl.
Score has it all to do on the running behind Hunting Lad while En Rapport has not excited of late.