Trust Me to live up to his tall reputation
Trackwork special Trust Me is not to be missed in the fourth event on this evening's Happy Valley card.
Any price over 3-1 would be enormous value, and even 2.5 to 3-1 would be worth taking, given the quality of his work and trials leading into his Hong Kong debut for Andy Leung Ting-wah, who has booked the Irish livewire John Egan for the mount. Egan is a whizz round the difficult city circuit - just as he was the best rider in Britain at the uncannily similar Chester track.
Trust Me has been so impressive in the lead-up to tonight's eagerly awaited debut that it seems only something unforeseen can get him beaten. If he can bounce out from gate seven and race just behind the speed then it is hard to envisage defeat in what amounts to no more than a normal Class Four contest.
Leung introduced another seemingly outstanding youngster in Conjuring at Sha Tin's Lunar New Year meeting and he won by 6.5 lengths. Trust Me created an equally favourable impression to Conjuring when they both trialled at the Valley a couple of weeks ago, though they may well turn out to be different types. Conjuring seems very much a speedster who is unlikely to stay beyond 1,400 metres. Trust Me may not have quite the natural pace of Conjuring but has appeared to have more depth and strength at the end of his work. That galloping depth to Trust Me should come in very handy tonight as they can go very fast over the Valley's 1,200-metre trip, which can find debutants out through lack of hard racing condition.
Since that excellent Happy Valley trial, Trust Me has continued to thrive. His work from the gates late last week was nothing short of excellent in the context of tonight's race. He didn't quite have the speed of his galloping companions Starlight Supreme and Sincere And Faith but then they are two of the best workers in Leung's yard. Having said that, Robbie Fradd, who rode Trust Me through this piece of work, didn't require him to go with them early on. But at the end of the work Trust Me was hack cantering over the pair of them. It was a hitout which put the finishing touches to him and more than confirmed previous trackwork and trial impressions.
The quinella is not that easy to nail down with Trust Me as the likes of Jet Jackson, Arabica, Wavy Wave, Cullinan and Heading To Win all come into calculations and even Sound Lover, Give To Thee and Mission Sealed are not out of it, especially for the tierce slot.
Jet Jackson put in his career-best effort when winning last time. Admittedly the slow track suited but since then he has looked an absolute picture in the mornings. He's never gone better.
Arabica is not weighted to confirm a recent victory over Wavy Wave but since that win he's come out and run even better when fourth to Smiling Forest at Sha Tin, for which he's been raised only a pound. He can almost be treated as a winner without a penalty as he couldn't get a run when full of gas in the last 200 metres and with normal luck in running would have gone close to winning again.
Wavy Wave, not a flash worker, has gone along well enough since that second to Arabica and has been racing consistently with slight improvement from outing to outing since the backend of last season.
Cullinan should benefit considerably from a drop back to 1,200 metres and being drawn inside, while Heading To Win put in a good third two starts ago over course and distance and didn't have the best of luck last time out at Sha Tin.
Sound Lover was very badly checked last time and has run many of his best races over tonight's 1,200 metres while Mission Sealed is working as well as he's gone for a couple of seasons.