Noble Wind can blow away rivals

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 March, 2004, 12:00am

The Triple Trio pool on Sunday is expected to reach at least $15 million, thanks to a $4.6 million carryover, and punters chasing a share should follow David Ferraris' exciting prospect Noble Wind, who provides plenty of appeal as a banker selection in the middle leg.

The talented galloper lost nothing in defeat over the Sha Tin mile on February 22 when second to Lucky Marauding in what was a solid performance. He also finished second to Speeding Molly over the same course and distance on his previous outing and only has to hold that form to take all the beating this weekend.

The recent form of Desert Storm has shown definite signs of improvement and he defied the track bias when coming from near last to finish fourth to Lucky Marauding. He must be given place claims here.

The application of blinkers looks a positive move for Clang's Pride, who ran respectably in defeat when fourth to Ahead A Head over 1,400 metres after a ten-week break. He should be fitter this time around and from a decent alley merits inclusion.

Free Way caught the eye when flashing home to finish fifth at his latest outing at Happy Valley over 1,200 metres and looks a value chance here.

Bountiful was given far too much to do in his last outing on February 15 over 1,400 metres, and he must be kept safe with the step up in trip.

The opening leg is clearly the hardest and finding a banker is no easy task. Unlike most in this contest, however, Winning Associates has been holding his form well and leaves the impression he should welcome the step up to 2,000 metres. He should be right in the finish and justify banker status.

Active Account stayed on strongly over 1,800 metres on February 15 when second to Divine Feeling and, and with Irish ace Mick Kinane retaining the ride, there is enough in his favour to suggest he can fill a placing again.

Hail Winner (third) and Great Kid (fourth) were both involved in that event and have sound chances to fill a minor placing again.

Food Lover has fallen to a competitive mark and is one to keep safe given the manner in which he stormed home over the final 200 metres of his mile contest last month.

The best option for banker in the final leg is last-start winner Zero In, who finally broke his maiden status after a string on solid performances.

He should land in a favourable position from gate six without having to work too hard. He looks well treated for his last success, having avoided a step up in grade.

Much the same can be said for Ahead A Head, who bolted home to score by three lengths over 1,400 metres. Now he has hit form, he looks a top chance to add to his tally and could even be considered as a double-banker.

Hip Hip Hooray was a beaten favourite on debut but deserves another chance because he had been highly impressive in his work leading up to that outing. The track bias deserves some responsibility for his inability to make up ground after missing the start. He looks a decent prospect.

Ching Hoi Boy has been holding his form well enough and can make the frame, while Star Of Stantou has shown enough ability to prove competitive in this grade.

Only eight runners line up to contest the third event, where Gem Of India looks the best option for banker.

Stablemate Liberal's Choice has a decent record over the Sha Tin mile and must be given strong claims, while Visorhill has enough class to hold his own against this opposition.

The booking of Douglas Whyte aboard Dr More also makes plenty of appeal and he should prove hard to keep out of the frame.