Make a World of difference
World Star can continue English trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam's much better recent run in the third event at Sha Tin this afternoon.
Chapple-Hyam was a whizz in England where he trained Classic winners and countless Group winners throughout Europe for his main patron Robert Sangster.
Against this background it is hard to say that his first season as a Hong Kong-based trainer has been anything other than disappointing.
Indeed, Chapple-Hyam would be the first to admit it. He's only trained five winners and that simply doesn't make good reading.
But look a little deeper and he's been faced with a difficult set of problems, inheriting mainly former Patrick Biancone-trained horses after the wheat had been sorted from the chaff.
In the main, Chapple-Hyam received the latter.
He's also had to get used to a whole different type of training and climate and that takes some working out too.
The signs over the past month, however, have been good. Chapple-Hyam has sent out a couple of winners and had a whole bunch of his team make the frame.
It really does appear that he's turned the corner and will be all the better for his equivalent of those 40 days in the training wilderness.
And in World Star he looks to have a four-year-old set to underline that in this Class Three 1,400-metre contest. Last time out World Star was finishing most strongly under today's jockey Eric Legrix only to be stopped in his tracks in the last 100 metres.
He went past the post a 2.5-length fourth to Lucky Victories, Bank On It and Light Print. But with normal luck in running he might well have finished second.
Prior to that last start, which was just under a month ago, the trackwork impression from World Star, and even his previous run, was that he was improving and wouldn't be long in being placed to advantage.
But his work since that run has been of the highest quality and it does point to imminent success.
Diamond Talents is starting for the first time for championship-chasing trainer Tony Cruz who recently improved Supreme Cat to bolt home, under some heavy backing, at the first time of asking.
Diamond Talents has always worked well but appears to be doing it on a more relaxed basis for Cruz and must be rated a serious danger.
His form prior to moving stables was good. He didn't have much luck on a number of occasions, though he might also have lacked resolution. The change in stables could be just the thing to make Diamond Talents one of the leading quinella chances.
Faithful Assurance ran a lot better than it might have appeared over 1,000 metres at Happy Valley last time and is another to keep in mind, especially with trainer Ivan Allan in a purple patch of form.
Holy Wine did well to make up so much ground off a sedate tempo last time and must also be respected for the quinella, as must Super Performance, who is another seemingly on good terms with himself.