Fradd in search of Fortune
Fortune Tycoon looks hard to beat from barrier two in this evening's third event at Happy Valley.
The five-year-old son of Last Tycoon has come right back to the ability he was showing early on in his career since moving to impressive first-season trainer Tony Millard.
He ran a good second on debut for the South African's yard and followed that up with a wet-track success last time out when coming home 2.25 lengths to the good of Express Lot and Rangeela, both of whom have franked the form by running creditably since.
It is unlikely to be a wet track tonight but there are still a number of reasons for siding with Fortune Tycoon who, while he goes well on the wet, doesn't need cut in the ground.
The two major reasons are his barrier draw and his trackwork since that victory. He jumps from stall two on a night when the rail is out to the C position. Usually when the rail is out like this there is a big advantage to those racing near the fence or up on the speed.
Fortune Tycoon should be doing both. He has the natural speed to lead these from his inside draw or, if Alex K. S. Yu wants to drive him potty with the improving youngster Mascot Treasure, champion jockey elect Robbie Fradd can probably drop into the trail but remain glued to the running rail.
As for his work, Fortune Tycoon has always been a most fluent mover in the mornings but even by his own standards, he's been serving it up to virtually everything with whom Millard has asked him to work.
He appears to be coming into this Happy Valley mile contest - the same course and distance he's run those two good races this season - going even better than prior to his last-start success.
Mascot Treasure remains a big quinella chance as he, too, is going to be racing near the fence and on or near the speed. He's a good type and is open to a fair bit of improvement.
All the same, his recent second to Be Content doesn't look as strong form as Fortune Tycoon's defeat of Express Lot and Rangeela.
When Mascot Treasure was second, Super Conqueror was a short-head back in third and very unlucky not to run the quinella or maybe even to win the race.
He was bumped and checked in the home straight when coming with a strong late run and last time was also unlucky. He's another who likes the Valley mile and is reasonably well drawn in barrier six.
The Andy Leung Ting-wah-trained youngster Try Your Best failed on his first attempt at the Valley having run with promise prior to that on debut at Sha Tin.
Leung now fits him with blinkers for the first time and his work in them suggests he is capable of significant progress. Often these youngsters can flop on their first start at the Valley but then get the hang of the place. Ace Of Pace is a recent case in point. Jumping from gate four should also help Try Your Best.
Coq D'Or is another young potential improver. He went much better last time when third over 1,200 metres and while he is by a sprint sire in Primo Dominie, he gives every indication in his style of racing that he may enjoy the move to a mile. He also seems to have thrived for trainer Geoff Lane since that much-improved recent effort.
Aspiration and Danetop have clear form chances but may find it impossible, with the rail out, to overcome their outside draws.
The Jockey Club has secured simulcast rights to local hero Fairy King Prawn's tilt at Sunday's Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo. The rich mile contest will operate as the fifth event on an 11-race card.