Wage early attack on quinellas
Look to the opening two events on this afternoon's feast of racing which features not only a simulcast of the Japan Cup but sees Fairy King Prawn head the list for the Sprint Trial Trophy en route to his mouth-watering clash with Sunline in next month's Hong Kong Mile.
There's also the little matter of a quality Chevalier Cup in which Electronic Unicorn, who loomed as the winner of last weekend's Pok Oi Cup only to fail to run out the 2,000-metre trip, looks the one now he's back to a mile.
But in terms of a bet the opening two races could well lend themselves to a couple of quinella attacks.
The second is probably the best betting race on the card with the less-exposed types of Flirting Star, Fun Manager and Classic Choice set to improve. They are worth combining in a triangular quinella and also worth taking with Medic Star who is one of the form picks and then maybe with Universal Charger in saver quinellas.
The John Moore-trained Flirting Star has run just the once and, on the face of it, it was a pretty dismal effort as this three-year-old son of Air De France ran 16.25 lengths 11th of 12 behind Prospero at Happy Valley. But it is a race best forgotten for Flirting Star as he was utterly beaten by his outside draw. He was trapped off the track the whole way under Shane Dye and that's no place to be at the Valley for a youngster.
On the more even Sha Tin expanses, expect Flirting Star to put that run well and truly behind him. His work had been eye-catching prior to debut, when he attracted significant betting support, and it has been eye-catching since.
Fun Manager looks a lovely, athletic type. He's been unsuited by Happy Valley sprints. Trainer David Hayes, going great guns at the top of the standings, now pushes him up to a seemingly more suitable 1,400-metre trip and this should bring about considerable improvement.
Classic Choice also moves up in trip. He's done plenty of work and a trial after a slight spell and could now find his feet after showing definite ability as a griffin for Ivan Allan.
Universal Charger ran just the twice as a griffin and ran nicely. This hasn't been lost on Douglas Whyte who rode him on the second of those griffin starts and is back on this afternoon.
If any of these youngsters fail to run up to their trackwork then Medic Hero, a creditable second to Good Message last time, is lurking in the wings.
The Tony Millard factor may result in back-to-back wins for Best News in the opener. Millard has been a marvellous addition to the training ranks, doing it at both ends of the racing spectrum. He took Keen Winner through the grades to triumph in last season's Hong Kong Derby and has also brought about significant improvement in a number of low-grade aquisitions. Invincible General and, most recently, Winning Focus, spring readily to mind.
Best News could be a similar type. He showed glimpses of staying ability with other trainers but it wasn't until he joined Millard that he was able to win. He did this last time out over a mile when coming through strongly to beat Basketball Winner and Money Star and the latter has franked the form by winning since. Best News subsequent trackwork suggests he has continued his improvement.
Champion Bomb has been crying out for this kind of 1,800-metre trip while Iron Tycoon has strong recent form. Nanning Treasure might well have placed last time but for being stopped in his tracks in the home straight. Dragon Win and Jumbo Luck could be best of the others and could be at good odds.