Allan has ace in the Hole
Hole In One can take this evening's third event on a typically difficult Happy Valley card which features a $17.9 million Triple Trio jackpot.
Hole In One is worth a decent win bet and could also double up as a key horse for those searching for TT riches.
The son of Turkoman has been given plenty of time to come to himself by trainer Ivan Allan, who is never in a hurry with his more stoutly bred youngsters.
Hole In One ran a good third three starts ago down the straight 1,000-metre chute and then had the rest of them well beaten off when caught close home and beaten a neck by the improving Accuracy two starts ago.
On the strength of that run and the overall improvement he was showing, he was a confident choice last time. He only managed to run fourth to the wet-track specialist We Know When but there are strong grounds for rating him a fair bit better than the bare form suggests and giving him another chance.
Last time he was trapped wide on a fast pace and had such a tough run, with Craig's Pride and Projectvision kicking up inside him, that he could have been forgiven for dropping out and finishing unplaced.
Instead he had the raw ability and no little courage to rally and fill the frame, and with any luck in running would definitely have been second to We Know When.
Allan has now booked his former stable jockey, the seven-time champion Basil Marcus, for the ride on Hole In One.
Marcus, successful on Allan's Blazing Bob at Sha Tin last Wednesday night, looks the ideal rider for this youngster.
Marcus can be relied upon to bounce him out the stalls and go forward, either leading or taking the trail behind the likes of the speedy Professionalkiller who might not see out the mile.
American Way has been racing really well of late without too much luck. He could run home late into the placings behind Hole In One while Grand Prize, who likes the Valley mile, is drawn to get the run of the race as he jumps from stall one under Felix Coetzee.
Be My Heart is racing consistently and comes into consideration while at the bottom of the weights, respect should be given to Happy Prince and Empire Court.
Happy Prince is a risk at the Valley but against that he should like the move to a mile and he has produced a very useful set of Topspeed figures.
Empire Court is on the upgrade and also has a very competitive set of recent Topspeed figures.
Capital Star, moving up in distance and another with excuses on his latest start, could be best of the others.
The last could provide the night's other betting opportunity.
The Best Winner has had no luck the last two times since a promising reappearance third and could be at good odds. He's drawn well in barrier one.
Never Say Never has never raced better and has to come into consideration as does Thank Heavens who remains in fluent form in the mornings after two good efforts. He's handicapped to go very close with Never Say Never on their recent run over tonight's course and distance.
It could also pay to throw in Sky High who was trapped wide last time but had put together some useful runs prior to that. Sky High should also find the company slightly easier.