Kan Toys with sprint rivals
King Of Toys can take advantage of his inside draw to land this evening's highly competitive feature event, the Yan Chai Cup.
The full field for this 1,000-metre dash around the Valley makes for a tough contest with almost all the runners holding some kind of chance.
Every advantage is going to be vital and King Of Toys should be guaranteed the run of the race from barrier two.
He has Sterling Star on his inside and he should be able to cross him. To this extent, Club Jockey Alan Munro could hold the difference between defeat and victory as the start looks crucial.
For King Of Toys to prevail, Munro must jump him smartly from the barriers and hold his position. The English, Irish and Spanish Derby-winning jockey will be acutely aware of this and he knows his mount well.
Munro was on the son of former top English sprinter Statoblest when he won two starts ago and on that occasion he had him smartly away and up on the speed from exactly the same barrier two.
This represents a step up in grade for King Of Toys as he beat Speed Win by half a length two starts ago in Class Three and is now tackling a number of confirmed Class Two performers.
But King Of Toys has since carried 134 pounds and run a neck second to St Alann over 1,400 metres at Sha Tin and in the process clocked his best career Topspeed figure and one that is commensurate with success in Class Two.
Tonight he has 119 pounds to carry and while he might not be able to lead, he should get a lovely trail from gate two.
Ovation is drawn on King Of Toys' immediate outside and looks to be coming to hand. This is his third start for trainer Lawrie Fownes, having previously been with David Hayes.
He clearly hasn't been the easiest of horses to train as he took a long time to appear for the Fownes camp after that early-season move.
He showed nothing first-up for Fownes but went much better next time when racing prominently after the field had settled and only getting tired close home in the race won by Celestial Chief from Flying Flying over 1,200 metres at Sha Tin.
Fownes is such a master at improving these additions to his stable that Ovation, who is slipping to an attractive rating, can be expected to be at his peak this evening.
New Trumps won like a quality performer from Fibber over 1,400 metres at Sha Tin last Wednesday night. He's been raised 13 pounds for that victory, is down in trip and must jump from barrier 11.
He has been a most consistent performer all season and looked to benefit considerably from the reapplication of blinkers last time. If there is something that is going to race through the field and swamp the lot of them, in the way that Just My Way did recently, New Trumps could be the one.
Classic Jester is the proven course-and-distance performer but it is hard not to think that while he's an excellent place chance, there will be something to beat him.
Kevmate's recent work has been encouraging. He could be poised to bounce back to form while Mighty And Gold was value for more than his win on the dirt last Wednesday night may indicate as he had to work hard from barrier 14.
A revitalised Delightful Special, stablemate of New Trumps, looks best of the rest.