Koh-I-Noor glimmers as Triple Trio banker
Koh-I-Noor, blinkered for the first time, can anchor the opening leg of tomorrow night's Happy Valley Triple Trio.
Racing comes from the city venue as it is Martell Grand National night with the world's most famous jumps contest simulcast live from England at 10.45pm.
Prior to that, Koh-I-Noor jumps off the page as banker in the third. He should relish the Class Three company and has a decent enough draw in six.
Trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee has also opted for in-form South African Douglas Whyte, and Koh-I-Noor goes well at the Valley were he has the natural pace to sit handy.
Kan has a very strong hand in this mile contest as he also saddles the last-start winner Sir Galway and the seemingly well-handicapped Diamond And Gold.
Sir Galway could be over fancied by the public as last time he was brilliantly ridden out in front by Alan Munro, who very much engineered things to go their way on a biased track.
Sir Galway will be blessed if he gets a similarly charmed run tonight and has also been rehandicapped for that success.
Diamond And Gold could be the dark horse in the race in that earlier in the season he ran to a mark of around 74 when successful over this trip.
He's now down to a rating of 57, yet his recent gallops indicate he could be on the way back. He could add a spot of value to this opening leg.
Likety Win has a good course-and-distance record and should run well, as should American Champion on whom David Harrison had no luck last time.
American Champion had previously been beaten by a slow tempo and would have won prior to that with a clear run, so he looks one of the main hopes.
Munro rides his other last-start winner Arrectis Auribus but he, too, has a bit more to do against these.
The topweights may dominate the night's feature event, the L'Or De Martell Cup, which is also the middle pin to the TT.
Triple Expresso and Whytellyou look to have particularly good chances.
Whytellyou was first in this race last season but was later found to have been doped in a case resulting in trainer Patrick Biancone being suspended until the end of this season and unlikely to train here again.
Whytellyou appeals as he is on a very good mark and probably should have finished a bit closer to Best Of The Best when fourth in the Centenary Cup last time.
Triple Expresso is another former Biancone charge now with Peter Chapple-Hyam, who has finally started to crack it for a few winners. Tonight's 1,200-metre trip should suit him more than the 1,400 metres of his last outing at Sha Tin.
Normally, the 11 draw would be a huge disadvantage but not so much for him as he needs to be ridden back, covered up and produced with a late run.
Championship can go well for the in-form David Hayes and Basil Marcus, while it wouldn't be a surprise to see stablemate Special flashing home late.
Expedient is bound to come in for plenty of support and is the likely leader. He nearly pulled it off last time when caught in the last stride by Red Zone over course and distance.
However, he's going to have to work harder from barrier 10 and is up against stiffer opposition.
Express Duke, starting for the first time for the master improver Lawrie Fownes, could go well at decent odds as may Kowloon Pride, who will be fitter for his first run back from a spell. He loves it round the Valley.
Winning Supreme, Chirag, Guscott, Magic Hands and Eternal Fun could be the five to take against the field in the sixth.
YESTERDAY'S SHA TIN TURF TRIALS First trial _ 1,000m: 1, GO DENIM (B. Marcus); 2, A Run Of Luck (J. Quinn); 3, Par Avion (S. Baster). Others (in finishing order): Global Runner, Noble Boy, V233, Classic Choice, Alarm Clock, Good Friends, Aqua Prince, Oreads. Time: 1:00.0 (23.4). Distances: 1 length, .5 length. Winner trained by Tony Millard.
Second trial _ 1,000m: 1, COURAGE STAR (K. C. Tsang); 2, Depeche Mode (B. Marcus); 3, Cupid (F. Coetzee). Others: Affaire D'Amour, Vigoroso, Smiling Forest, Landlord, Comfort, Cash Treasure, Peaceful Century, Giant, Satisfaction Smile, Top Racer. Time: 0:59.6 (23.1). Distances: head, 1.5 lengths. Winner trained by David Hill.
Third trial _ 1,000m: 1, CHARMING CITY (B. Marcus); 2, Naturally Money (R. Fradd); 3, Sunny (K. H. Yu). Others: Scenic Wonder, Albela, Bill, Monza, Chiu Shan Glory, Huangdi, Happy Momentum, Kiwi Star, Bear With Me. Time: 0:58.8 (23.8). Distances: 1 length, .5 length. Winner trained by David Hayes.
Fourth trial _ 1,000m: 1, SILVER POWER (F. Coetzee); 2, Jewel Box (J. Quinn); 3, Full Throttle (W. C. Mawing). Others: Millennium Dawn, Sonic, Super Fairway, Easy Money, Supreme Champion, Northern General, Fit To Beat, Easy Take. Time: 0:59.9 (23.4). Distances: .5 length, .5 length. Winner trained by Tony Cruz.
Fifth trial _ 1,000m: 1, RALPHIE BOY (E. St-Martin); 2, Hole In One (R. Fradd); 3, Millennium Legend (F. Coetzee). Others: Eternal Start, Manley's Fortune, Fair Comment, Cleanpairofheels, Hero's Choice, Inca, Charlie's Angel, Famous Tension. Time: 1:00.1 (23.6). Distances: .5 length, head. Winner trained by Peter Ho.