Lucky Marauding's in outstanding shape
The final event of the season often attracts a huge turnover, with punters having their last flutter on the races for a couple of months, and most be would be well advised to stick with Francis Lui Kin-wai's Lucky Marauding. Lui must be delighted with the progress this term of this half-brother to Fairy King Prawn and there has plenty of evidence of it in his morning workouts.
Since he beat Juvenile Sprint Trophy winner Classa For Ever, Lucky Marauding's trackwork has been outstanding. Lui has restricted him to a series of turf gallops where he has excelled. And it's no coincidence that Douglas Whyte has been aboard for every one of them.
Whyte clearly knows this fellow has some serious potential and was aboard for a terrific piece of work earlier this week when they clocked 22.4 seconds for the final 400 metres. Admittedly, it has taken Lucky Marauding a little time to begin to realise his potential and he didn't notch his first victory until his fifth local start. However, the signs are positive and going into this event he has arguably worked better than ever.
In the same event watch out for a decent performance from John Size's debutant, Belgrave (rated 69), who has impressed in his work and trials leading up to his first local start. The New Zealand import won a maiden event at Otaki (1,100 metres) by five lengths before arriving in Hong Kong and looks well enough treated in the handicap. Most of Size's new stock don't get the solid preparation this fellow has received going into their first local start and that may be a guide in itself.
In addition, Size has been aboard for most of his gallops. This is an interesting point, because Size usually works the topliners in his yard. It may be worth keeping a close eye for any betting support for the debutant.
Size and Lui may also play a big part in the outcome of the fifth event where Shogun and Add The Fun look leading fancies. Shogun has been given a typically light preparation from Size, being restricted to cantering with the exception of one steady piece of work (29.4) since his last run on June 9 with his fitness coming from hard racing. Lui's Add The Fun was not supported on his debut, as the starting price of $820 may suggest, but had shown signs of potential in his work and has made further improvement.
There is no doubt he has progressed significantly since his winning performance on May 22, on the evidence of his last few gallops. He was clocked at 46.7 for Torsten Mundry in his turf gallop last week when he strode out purposefully. He is more switched on in his work now and looks an exciting prospect.
One of the more impressive pieces of leadup work from any horse competing at today's final meeting came from Majestic Feeling, who scored an impressive all-weather trial win on June 11. The manner in which he drew away from Caspar Fownes' Perfect Partner (rated 109) was exceptional. Perfect Partner is no slouch and rated some 41 pounds higher in the handicap but you wouldn't have thought it looking at the trial.
Perfect Partner has since worked extremely well on the turf when galloping with stablemate Stoic and clocking 47.7 over 800 metres. It was a solid piece of work from that horse but further underlined Majestic Feeling's trial.