Marcus set to weave Valley magic with Fame And Wealth
It could be just like old times at Happy Valley tomorrow night with Basil Marcus just the jockey to get Fame And Wealth into the placings in the second leg of the Triple Trio.
The world's best bet features a handy $8.3 million jackpot and Marcus, over the 10 seasons he rode here, was especially good at the tight city venue with his Valley winners playing a big part in his magnificent seven championships.
Fame And Wealth contests an only ordinary-looking Class Five 1,200-metre contest and this is his ideal course and distance. What's more he can jump from barrier two in this fourth event and that should be a significant advantage with the rail out to the C+3 position.
Marcus is likely to have him out and running and in just the right spot through the run. Last time out Fame And Wealth ran much better than it looked as he had a tough trip throughout and was badly checked in the run.
Multi-Winner is in much the same category as Fame And Wealth in that he's ideally suited by Class Five 1,200-metre contests at the Valley and is now drawn well in stark contrast to last time when he was drawn out in the wilds.
The top New Zealand jockey Shane Dye again takes the ride and the inside draw is likely to make all the difference to Multi-Winner who also ran much better than the bare result suggests last time when he was wide for virtually the entire trip.
Of the others, Hollywood Star should go well from barrier one while Coq D'Or improved last season and probably has the most scope in this contest. Rory's Bid has been getting too far back in his races but the terrific Irish jockey John Egan, who is proving himself such a whizz with his balance and tactical acumen, might just be able to work his magic on him and get him into the placings.
Steven King, successful on his first meeting back on Ace Academy for his former retaining trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie, appears to have picked up another cracking ride for Yiu in Eastern Express in the sixth event which concludes the TT.
Now Eastern Express is going to get back in the run, but King is another great tactical rider. He rarely has them in the wrong place and if anyone can bring Eastern Express into the race without having to loop right around the field it is he.
Last time Eastern Express just had too much to do in a race which is working out pretty well. In the circumstances he put in a highly creditable effort to make up the ground he did behind Super Performance, Century Horse and Ironic Commander.
Topweight Handover should have been placed last time but was markedly checked in the home straight. He can run well from stall two while Diamond And Gold is in peak form and loves the Valley mile.
Eternal Fun has solid form credentials while the gear changes and some solid work since his reappearance could make all the difference to the lightly raced Pristine.
Red Devil probably came into the race a little too soon last time and remains on good terms with himself. Try Your Best, Chief's Fortune, Millennium Star, Jumbo Luck and Happy Tycoon could be the five to take against the field in the third event which opens the TT.
Try Your Best has needed his runs so far this season and should be suited by Class Five while Chief's Fortune and Millennium Star both stay well and should be running on strongly at the death.
Happy Tycoon would have beaten Ever Gain in a Class Six contest last time, but was twice checked in the home straight over the Valley mile. This is harder but the move to 1,800 metres should suit and he is, effectively, a winner without a penalty. Jumbo Luck continues to work as fluently as ever and has put together a couple of good runs so far this season.