Bank on Maniwin to clean up again
IMPROVING Maniwin can show the benefit of an early dash down the straight 1,000-metre course and prove a suitable banker for the second leg of the Double Trio at Sha Tin tomorrow.
The Gary Ng Ting-keung galloper has definitely got the required ability to score in Class Four and the step up in distance to 1,400 metres is ideal.
Not so good, however, is the barrier draw of 12 but his most dangerous opponents in the full field of 14 have also drawn badly.
Topweight Diablo is out in 13 while Patrick Biancone's Partner, a very real chance on his first-up run, is in the extreme outside and that could prove testing even for international ace, Tony Cruz.
Maniwin ran most encouragingly down the straight at his first outing of the season, finishing right on the heels of the place-getters in a race won by the above average Think Tank. He was doing his best work close to home and finished officially sixth, a length and a half from the winner.
It underlined that, ideally, he is better off over more ground even though he did score a top-notch straight course win over Clean Them Up last season. He came flying home in that event to snatch victory in the last 50 metres.
Since his first run, Maniwin has continued to blossom and has been doing everything required of him by Ng. He is fit and ready and looks good banker material in a fairly tricky contest.
Maniwin will be ridden by American jockey Randy Romero who seems to be settling into the Hong Kong way of things and has been seen to advantage on a couple of Ng's winners - most notably Sure Win King last Sunday.
Had Partner been drawn anywhere inside he would have been an almost automatic choice for banker following an excellent, close-up third at his first start when ridden admirably by Eric Legrix.
But 14 of 14 at 1,400 metres is a distinct drawback although he must still come into the reckoning.
Diablo will have improved from his first-up run when beaten in a Happy Valley sprint by King's Flair and the distance should suit him.
Consideration can also be given to Call Me Horse who will be ridden by maximum claimer Francis K.S. Lam, the lad who had his first career winner at Happy Valley on Wednesday night with Captain Ron.
He is well worth his claim and the less-than-resolute Call Me Horse will certainly appreciate going round here with 108lb on his back. It tends to bring him into calculations as he does like to bowl along in front.
Lam showed with Captain Ron that he is an excellent judge of pace despite his obvious inexperience and booking him for Call Me Horse looks a shrewd move by trainer Wong Tang-ping.
The first leg of the Double Trio is the featured Group Three Sha Tin Trophy where last year's star Dashing is an obvious banker choice.
He ran fresh and possibly a bit free in his first run over 1,200 metres but will have come on from that run and looks certain to figure prominently in the finish here.
And first day winner Fortune Leader is not out of it, either. He has come on from that run and must be worth including, particularly as he is still likely to go out at a decent price.
Topweight Motivation invariably goes well fresh and is a quality campaigner, while Wind Dancer still has scope for improvement.
Right Way may find it difficult to turn the tables on Fortune Leader, particularly as the latter has unquestionably held his form. And Jimmy Ting, who gets on so well with the horse, has to track over from barrier 11 which may prove troublesome in this quality field.