Doyle to deliver on Hurrah
The barrier draw lottery came out in favour of smart sprinter Winning Hurrah who looks the one for tonight's Cricket Club Valley Stakes.
There look to be several strong chances in the full field but Winning Hurrah has drawn most favourably just four off the rails for the 1,000-metre scamper round the Happy Valley bends.
As against the favourable draw, however, is the fact that Winning Hurrah, to be ridden by regular jockey, Brett Doyle, has been running his races - and winning - down Sha Tin's straight course.
Conversely, challengers like South China Way, Just Perfect and Citihunter all have winning Valley form.
There is also an interesting newcomer in the race in the shape of the Ricky P. F. Yiu-trained New Gimmicks who had a trial at Happy Valley on Saturday. He has moderate overseas form but ran well in the hit-out and might be one to consider at odds.
Winning Hurrah was beaten last time out by lightly weighted Triumphant Star, who was apprentice-ridden, and El Viento who seemed to appreciate being back to the straight course.
There was no real disgrace in that defeat and it is difficult to see Triumphant Star, to be ridden tonight by Robbie Fradd, confirming form with Winning Hurrah.
As Alex K. S. Yu should be considered worth his claim, Triumphant Star is 11 pounds worse off tonight for two and three quarter lengths.
Winning Hurrah won comfortably at his previous straight course outing and while he could not be labelled the bet of the night, he looks certain to be closely involved in the finish.
Just Perfect will be ridden by Freddie Sanchez who is slowly but surely establishing himself on the Hong Kong scene. He was very hot and cold early on but has now found his feet and it will be no surprise if he is one of the stars of the show next season.
Just Perfect won solidly at Happy Valley on his late seasonal re-appearance but did not follow it up over the longer sprint at the city track.
He now reverts to the minimum trip and will jump from the middle of the field. He has to jump and Sanchez has been criticised for being rather tardy when leaving the machine.
Ivan Allan has given course and distance winner Citihunter to Chris Munce and it could be a good ride for the hard-working Australian who has not had the best of luck during his first Hong Kong stint.
Citihunter is also well drawn and showed a reasonable field a clean pair of heels on debut over this trip, winning in smart time.
Two starts back he was again over the minimum trip but was nailed close home, while last time he weakened towards the end of a longer Valley sprint.
As he has considerable early pace, Citihunter should be able to get out and be right there.
Stable jockey Douglas Whyte rides the Allan-trained South China Way who has done his winning over the longer sprint.
If there is a suggestion of the leaders knocking up, South China Way could come through and challenge.
This is a tricky trophy contest but Winning Hurrah just gets the vote.