Able can bring Christmas cheer
It's going to be one heck of a Christmas for someone as there's a fantastic $55 million up for grabs in tomorrow's Happy Valley Triple Trio.
That's the gigantic jackpot which has been carried forward and, for anyone drawn to the bet for the first time by the sheer enormity of the carry forward, to scoop the pot of gold you must find the first three, in any order, in races three, four and six.
The John Moore-trained Able Win in the third event looks as good a banker as any. Last season, the lightly-raced son of Royal Academy always looked a decent type, but Moore was at pains not to do too much with him and only now is the three-year-old starting to blossom. He had been working well prior to his reappearance in a 1,000-metre Valley sprint but ran out of hard racing condition coming into the home straight.
He then showed the benefit of that outing when forcing Chiu Chow Boy all the way to the line over 1,400 metres at Sha Tin. That form has a solid look to it, especially with Chiu Chow Boy having run well since.
Able Win is well drawn in barrier three and jockey Corey Brown can start to ride with renewed confidence after a welcome win on the David Hayes-trained plunge horse All Thrills Too in the opening event on International Day.
Dynamic Winnings is a viable alternative banker in this event. It may even be worth taking the pair of them as double bankers. That would certainly reduce the total outlay on what can be a very expensive wager given there are over 48 million possible winning combinations and a minimum unit stake of $2.
Last time Dynamic Winnings put in a much-improved effort to run a close third, despite having had a tough run throughout on a torrid speed in the race won by Only The Brave. Dynamic Winnings is another lightly-raced type who has always worked well and who is now starting to come right. He's also a year older than Able Win.
The other main form hope could well be the Alex Wong Siu-tan-trained Legend's Glory, who is improving all the time. He's only run twice and both efforts have been on the dirt. He needed the run on his debut, and then last time he finished a close fifth to Hossegor in a seemingly competitive Class Three mile event. He should find this company a bit easier.
Of the others, Fortune Glory, who should nearly have won last time, and the course-and-distance specialist Grand Prize are preferred.
The fourth event has a very competitive look to it. The likes of Top Practitioner, now back to a more favourable mile trip, and the consistent and well-drawn Star of Tai Po, must go close to running into the placings but there are plenty of others with claims.
Cavalo had the tempo all against him last time; Carry-on Dreamboat probably needed his most recent run and three starts ago put in one of the most eye-catching efforts of the season; Hole In One is racing well and should get a good run from gate three; Melrose Star has thrived for Alex Wong Yu-on and might nearly have won last time but for knuckling badly when clipping heels down the back straight; and Coq d'Or has been ridden into the ground the last twice and should be a leading player.
Even Chief's Fortune and Majestic Conqueror could sneak into a place, while Spectacular Win has strong form relative to these but may just need the outing. He's been off the course for a while and has appeared a bit laboured in his work.
The sixth is a similarly wide-open event, suggesting that any winning dividend is going to be a huge one.
It would be no surprise to see a much better run from Majestic Warrior as he suffered repeated checks right from the beginning of his run over the Happy Valley mile last time and should love the move up to 1,800 metres. He stayed well in France, and the booking of Shane Dye appears significant.
Winningcombination hasn't had much luck of late and continues to race well. He is favoured by his inside draw and is going as well as he has for a long time.
Sound Gallop, Chirag and Guscott have strong form claims, as do Diamond And Gold and Hong Kong Vitality, who has been crying out for this trip and a drop into Class Three.
Fruitful Trip is consistent and likes the course and distance, while Charming Stride is surely going to find plenty of improvement now he's up in trip. Billion Delight is a top chance only if there is rain.
Having mentioned all these, there is still some kind of risk in leaving out last-start winner Wonderful Winners, who went so well for a patient ride from John Egan last time, The Best Winner, who likes this trip, and the improving Rainbow And Gold.