Solar Empire primed to show his prowess in wet
Persistent rain and an outstanding fresh record have capable front-runner Solar Empire primed to make a winning debut for trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak in the final leg of Sunday's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
With the Triple Trio again failing to go off at last Sunday's meeting, the pool is expected to reach $38 million and with Tsui opting to engage seven-pound claiming apprentice Alex Lai Hoi-wing, Solar Empire makes plenty of appeal as a banker.
Solar Empire has shown himself to be more than capable on top of the ground but there is little doubt the seven-year-old is at his best when he gets on to a rain-affected track.
The Grand Lodge gelding hasn't raced since failing behind Jiang Jun at Sha Tin in March but he does excel when fresh, winning his last two first-up assignments over this course and distance in impressive fashion.
After coming up with gate one, Solar Empire looks certain to take up his usual leading roll and, with so many things in his favour, he will take a lot of running down.
The speed runners looks set to dominate the race with Inverness, Le Rossignol and Disguise all looking well placed, while the in-form Kaiser's Prize must be respected despite switching from the all-weather track to the turf.
The query runner in the race is the John Size-trained Winning Bullet. The Zabeel gelding turned in an excellent first-up effort behind Chater Silk before failing to negotiate rain-affected conditions last time when a well-supported favourite.
The four-year-old has the ability to win here but a relatively firm track is vital to his chances. The opening leg looks wide open but given Fun Cruiser appears likely to be afforded every chance, he stands out as the safest banker option.
The Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained gelding comes in fresh, has won at this course and distance earlier in the season and looks nicely placed with the claim for apprentice Terry Wong Chi-wai.
Dangers will come from Noble Zoom, Awesome Eagle, New Tamar and Win Dancer.
In the middle pin, Fly Me To The Moon fits the banker bill after turning in a much-improved effort at his last start when the blinkers were added for the first time.
The effort of the three-year-old to sit three and four wide for the entire trip and hang on to third placing behind Bodacious was full of merit and he is likely to press forward from a wide barrier on Sunday and take plenty of beating.
Biggest threats will come from Handbag Premier, Crusader Of Gold (blinkers added for the first time), Century Super Star, Shatin Win Win and Eternal Dragon.