Winner in waiting for Whyte
ROBIN PARKE and LAWRENCE WADEY
Those who supported Danswinner last start will be backing up tonight when Douglas Whyte looks to go one better and continue his fruitful association with astute local mentor Wong Tang-ping.
The six-year-old rallied bravely under the South African ace to chase Hornet home course and distance on that occasion but Danswinner's supporters got a real run for their money over the final furlong.
It proved that the Danehill gelding had come right back to form and this lineup has a similar look to it.
The biggest threat could come from the Tony Millard-trained Northern Flyer.
The first-season training sensation has gone back to basics with the five-year-old son of Theatrical and he is hopeful that he'll jump on terms.
The last twice he's badly blown the start by rearing just as the gates opened.
'We've completely reschooled him in the barriers,' Millard revealed.
'The problem is he's a very competitive horse and he can get a bit upset in the pens.
'So we've gone right back to having him stand in the pens, both in our own yard and all over the place, just to make him realise there is nothing to worry about.
'His form is good and his work is good. You never really know until they race whether they are going to do it again, for instance he jumped all right in a trial before his last run but still reared come the race.
'But it seems that he's all right - as far as you can tell.' Silent Partner should like the return to a mile and jockey Basil Marcus is pleased he's drawn low.
Marcus said yesterday: 'The draw is going to be a help because the day he won at the Valley I remember he was drawn one. I remember because he beat me. I was on Telecom Chief and Eric Legrix was on him. We flashed home but just failed to catch him.
'He gets back in his races but the draw should enable me to have him say two-thirds of the way back rather than last.
'I was happy with the way he went for me last time as 1,200 metres is too short and he got home well. He gave me the feel that I had a very game horse under me.' There is one interesting runner in the race from last week who could slip under the notice of racegoers - the Ivan Allan-trained Red Diamond.
Jimmy Quinn again has the riding duties and the Wexford-born jockey has struck a solid vein of form with Allan who was on hand to lead him back two starts ago over this course and distance.
John Moore goes into the race double-handed but it is more difficult to make a case for Excel Kid than All Win.
Apart from any other drawbacks, Excel Kid has ended up in barrier 14 which is statistical 'death' and his most recent form has left just a little too much to be desired.
There is always a hunt for an outsider in the TT and at least two come into the reckoning. One is the Geoff Lane-trained Silent Partner and the other is the Vincent S. K. Sit-ridden Beas Glory, who almost sprang a 99-1 surprise two starts back at Sha Tin over 1,400 metres.
Silent Partner came to the attention of the public and, from jockey Alan Munro's point of view, so too did he in late November after a Happy Valley race where the horse finished midfield.
After a delayed inquiry, Munro was handed a two-month suspension for not taking all permissible measures to ensure the best possible placing for Silent Partner. He did not appeal.