Tycoon promises more success for dynamic duo
Douglas Whyte and Dennis Yip Chor-hong are a dynamic combination and must be followed in the $1 million Quicken Away Handicap (race six) at Sha Tin today, where in-form Ambitious Tycoon tackles 2,000 metres for the first time.
No jockey-trainer team in Hong Kong represents such a potent force. In the 68 times they've combined their talents this season, they've won 21 races (30.9 per cent) and recorded another 14 minor placings (total place percentage 51.5), a set of statistics too compelling to ignore.
After winning over 1,800 metres on April 28, Ambitious Tycoon was stepped up to 2,200 metres by Yip and, on a yielding track, finished a creditable 11/2 lengths second to Luckswell.
This key race included half of today's field and should prove a critical guide to the main chances. Ambitious Tycoon meets Luckswell four pounds better for his beaten margin and has had more luck in the draw, coming out of gate two as opposed to Luckswell's gate 10.
That should be enough to turn around the form and give the son of former British sprinter Piccolo his second win this season. Another vote of confidence is that Whyte has opted to ride Ambitious Tycoon in preference to Luckswell this time round.
John Moore-trained Luckswell ($180) provided a massive turnaround in form when landing the spoils last time out. He handles any sort of going and will only carry one pound more than he did when winning. He will need a tactically proficient ride from Anton Marcus to offset the wide alley but has hit form and should get the race run to suit with genuine pacemakers from John Size's yard like Dynamic Fun and Happy Partners.
Dynamic Fun is a difficult one to get right but the step up in trip looks a bonus, along with the move back to turf. He raced far too keenly out on the lead on his last appearance and definitely needs to settle better for Anthony Delpech, otherwise a similar outcome can be expected.
On the positive side, stablemate Happy Partners looks the only likely opponent to apply any pressure. Shane Dye climbs aboard Happy Partners, who has been holding his form exceptionally well in recent weeks. He may not have been ideally suited by the yielding conditions when eighth to Luckswell earlier this month. Providing he doesn't strike comparable conditions he is one to consider for the minors.
Size's third entry, Perfetto, is a course-and-distance winner but his recent form has not been up to his early season standard. He may be high enough in the ratings now and can be left out of calculation against the stronger opposition here.
Ricky Yiu Poon-fie's Flying Bishop has decent form over the course and distance, with two placing from three starts. Based on his recent form he is definitely one to consider for multiples. He has the shadow roll applied for the first time and the gear change may spark some improvement.
Kiddy Sing (third), Universal Charger (fifth), Dash Ahead (seventh) and Ka Ka Win (12th) all competed in the race won by Luckswell and have to improve a good deal to figure in the finish this afternoon. The yielding ground may have been responsible for the marked improvement of Kiddy Sing, as it was the first time he managed to fill a placing from 11 local starts. However, even if similar conditions prevail here, he has a couple of lengths to find against both Luckswell and Ambitious Tycoon.
Universal Charger ran on well in the concluding stages but still finished 41/2 lengths from the winner. He will be suited if the ground is closer to firm and is a multiple course and distance winner. He is competitively weighted (113 pounds), well drawn and a value chance to keep safe.
Peter Ho-trained Dash Ahead will be ridden by apprentice Alex Lai Hoi-wong, who has his work cut out from gate 14. Dash Ahead is one to keep an eye on for the future after some improvement at his second and third local starts.
It is difficult to make a case for Ka Ka Win, who has not shown enough positive form from eight local starts and may need more time.
David Hayes-trained Equator Kid will appreciate the drop in grade but is yet to hit the frame from six attempts over the course and distance. He has the burden of top weight of 133 pounds and gate 13 and a placing may be asking a little too much of him.
Lucky Hands put in his best local performance on yielding ground and is only worth considering if similar conditions prevail today.
Both Super Blitz and Floral Dynamite leave the impression they have reached their limit in the ratings for the time being and are difficult to recommend