Dull can shine for King
Dull Lead should take all the beating in the third event on Sha Tin's 10-race card this afternoon.
The Ricky Yiu Poon-fie-trained four-year-old could be a big help to Triple Trio players as he looks a natural born banker for them in this Class Four mile contest which opens the world's best bet.
But he also looks worth a win wager in his own right, never mind banking on to run into the first three.
He was a progressive individual last season and he has the benefit of a run under his belt this season.
So many of Yiu's horses need their reappearances and that is how it looked for Dull Lead when he stepped out in the 1,400-metre contest on the second Sha Tin meeting of the season won by Golden Choice. Dull Lead looked far from fully wound up yet he still ran a blinder and with normal luck in running he might well have downed the Peter Ng Bik-kuen-trained winner.
But luck didn't go Dull Lead's way as he was repeatedly hampered from the apex of the bottom bend.
When he and jockey Steven King finally saw daylight they flew home into fourth, beaten just 3.5 lengths.
Since then Dull Lead appears to have tightened up and he's also been moving with the zest and fluency associated with a future winner.
Last season he took time to find his feet as he lacked racing experience. He then came good in no uncertain terms to beat the promising New Asians by half a length over today's course and distance (1,600 metres), the pair pulling clear of their rivals which is nearly always a sign of solid form. Dull Lead then ran a head second to David Hayes' useful stayer-in-the-making, Red In Green. Again the pair dominated the final stages of this mile event.
After that Dull Lead failed to cope with a pretty strong Class Three field when seventh to Just Aqua but the race didn't really go his way and after that he was almost certainly over the top when unplaced on his only other run.
Yiu, along with the likes of Tony Cruz, Peter Ho, Andy Leung and Francis Lui, represents a new generation of exciting local trainers who are competing meaningfully against such world-renowned stars as Ivan Allan and David Hayes.
He resisted the temptation of going to the well too often with Dull Lead last season and his son of Spectacular Spy can be expected to show the benefit of that over the coming months and win in Class Four company before progressing to hold his own in Class Three.
He may have most to fear from Alex Wong Yu-on's Beauty Fountain, who showed lots of promise last season without quite fulfilling his potential. Beauty Fountain has come into work this term going better than ever and he looks as fit as a butcher's dog for his reappearance. The booking of the in-form Dougie Whyte also catches the eye.
Good Fit is improving all the time and could be the other main danger to Dull Lead.
There was much to like about the way Good Fit knuckled down and battled to keep Seattle Sun out of the tierce spot in the race won so well by Money Wins last weekend.
Elsewhere, the exciting Toy Warrior can make a winning return to the fray in the final event while Ho appears to have Tim's Dragon better than he's ever been in readiness for the eighth.
Punters are advised that racing will be abandoned in the event of No 8 typhoon signal being hoisted.