Fantastic Star shines brightly
Lucky owner provides a double-banker option in middle leg of the Triple Trio
The Ivan Allan-Douglas Whyte combination have often teamed up for big race success, and the duo combine again with Fantastic Star, who makes strong appeal for banker in the middle pin of tomorrow's Triple Trio.
The well-bred son of Danehill has managed to win twice and finish second twice from his last four starts. Although he has taken a little time to excel, he is firmly on the upgrade and considering he remains in class four following his recent form he looks well placed to win again with the step up to 1,800 metres.
Fantastic Star's owner, Lai Wing-chiu, also is represented by Fantastic Win, who has been a model of consistency this term. He has a decent course and distance record with a win and two minor placings from five attempts. He needs a strong tempo, but has strong claims to figure in the finish.
There was marked improvement from China Cat at his only start this season when third to Fortune Dancer on November 15. Even though that run came on the all-weather, he deserves respect on the turf, given he is still relatively unexposed.
Red Baron was a beaten odds-on favourite over the Happy Valley mile at his last start, but prior to that had indicated some real potential. He deserves another chance. A good value chance is Master Marauder, who is always a chance to fill a minor placing if allowed a soft lead.
The best option for banker in the opening leg is Best Ever, who has performed admirably over shorter trips on both starts this season. With the step up to a mile, he does look well placed to notch his first victory.
An obvious inclusion is Cash King, who had excuses when sixth to Telecom Tycoon in late November over the Sha Tin mile. The visor is applied for the first time and as he looks open to further improvement.
Lucky Friends won relatively well over the Valley mile at his last start, and his good form is more than most can boast in this weak field. Dolphin Star grinded away to finish sixth over 1,650 metres last time, and has place claims based on his form this season. Sunny Desert takes the drop in grade and must be kept safe.
The logical option for banker in the final leg is Happy Winning, who was beaten a neck over 1,650 metres on the dirt on Boxing Day. He handles the surface and with sound recent form should prove hard to keep out of the frame.
Kid Galaxy has only had a handful of runs, but has shown steady progression and based on his third to Cyber Gulch over the course and distance, he must be added to selections.
Magic Touch won on his next start after finishing second to Cyber Gulch, and he warrants inclusion as he will get a good run from a low barrier. Both Spiritual King and Cyber Gulch handle the surface and are hard to rule out.
Trust Me looks the best option for banker in the third event. He finished second to Noble Hero over 1,200 metres recently and if able to hold his form he should figure in the frame. Major Bee finished fourth in the same event and has claims again. Four Aces has often trialled well on this surface and has the quality to win, while Holy Quest is a course and distance specialist who must be added to the shortlist.