Unicorn ready to give big boys a run for their money
A jackpot of $2 million is carried forward to the Triple Trio pool tomorrow night at Sha Tin where Tony Cruz's unbeaten griffin Lucky Unicorn stands out as the banker selection in the opening leg.
The progressive son of boom sire Redoute's Choice won both starts in griffin company and steps out against older opposition for the first time and is well rated at 65.
However, effectively he is racing five points lower than that, and with a weight of 113 pounds, the two-year-old colt should prove too good for the opposition.
The return to the straight course looks a bonus for Bacchus, who won over the course and distance in November when Anthony Delpech was on board.
A similar case can be made for Ever More, who has a decent record over the minimum trip. His recent form is fair, but he strikes weaker opposition this time and remains well handicapped.
Royal Decree won well last time and now that he has struck form is worth keeping safe, along with debutant Danacourt, who has worked stylishly and looks capable of figuring in the finish.
The second and third legs are on the all-weather surface and in the middle pin, the best option for banker is John Size-trained Cotton Ball, who has shown marked improvement recently.
He has won his last two starts, and considering he has already won this term over 1,800m on the specialist surface, he merits strong respect.
Fortune Dancer has managed to hit the frame three times over the course and distance this season and there is no reason why he should be able to fill a minor place once again.
The manner in which Happy Kid found the line over the all-weather mile on his last start suggested he should appreciate the step up in trip and he must be added to the short list.
Esprit D'Or won over 1,800m on this surface on his penultimate start before finding the drop back to the mile too sharp for his liking, but he should prove far more competitive this time round.
X-Speed handles the surface and has shown enough good form to warrant consideration, while Star Prodigy is open to more improvement.
The safest option for banker in the final leg is in-form Magic Temple.
He can make amends for his last-start disappointment.
Smart Horse looks well treated for his last win and now that he has hit form must be kept safe, while much the same applies to Czar Of Prussia.
Great Leader continues to work well on this surface and deserves one more chance. Magic Touch has a good course and distance record and is competitively weighted.
Paul O'Sullivan's yard has hit form recently and Treasure Raiders looks the logical option for banker in the third event.
More patient tactics brought about a much-improved run last start when fourth to Beverly Dream and he strikes weaker opposition this time.
American Victory finished fifth in the same event and also deserves inclusion. Nicku Nicku impressed in a trial and has place claims, while Desert Storm is well handicapped.