Friendship has the right credentials
Apprentice Terry Wong Chi-wai, who went within inches of his best day at the races at Sha Tin on Sunday, can continue his recent purple-patch of form when he partners front-runner Friendship in the middle leg of tomorrow night's Triple Trio at Happy Valley.
Wong rode in fine fashion to land a double on Fun Cruiser and Kimbo Kid and it was only the mastery of Douglas Whyte on San Lorenzo that robbed him of his first treble on board My Choice, who went down by a short head after being given every chance.
The double took Wong to 12 winners for the season, which is three times the amount of success he enjoyed in the previous term.
While Friendship has found Class Three beyond him in the past, the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained four-year-old looks to have found a tailor-made event and he is an appealing banker.
He returned to his best over this course and distance two starts back after being given a well-rated ride by Wong and he then turned in an excellent effort last start, despite rising in class, when narrowly beaten by Quest For Love over 1,400 metres at Sha Tin.
Tomorrow's event looks void of genuine front-runners and Wong should have little trouble in getting Friendship across from gate 11 to make the speed, which will make him the one to run down with only 112 pounds.
His main dangers, Shanghai King, Capitaland and Carrizo Creek, will all be giving away a considerable start but have to be respected, as does Mighty Hugo with a drop in class and blinkers being added for the first time.
Fortune Boy may be worth including given he is likely to be on the speed and Winning Sunshine is capable of getting into the action if he can get some early luck from an awkward barrier.
In the opening leg, Dragon And Gold fits the banker bill after coming up with an inside gate and taking an important drop in class.
The Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained gelding as been out of form since scoring an easy course-and-distance win earlier in the term, but his recent efforts have hinted he is on the verge of finding his best.
His effort two starts back behind Sanziro after covering ground and being pushed wide on the home turn was sound, as was his last outing behind the in-form Bulb King in an unsuitable 1,000m event down the Sha Tin straight.
From gate two, Whyte should have the Last Tycoon gelding right on the speed and he will prove the one to run down.
The main danger will come from Profit Hill, aided by a drop in class, an inside gate and a claim for apprentice Marco Chui Kwan-lai, while Noble Conqueror (blinkers added for the first time), Spy King and Wisdom Express have all found a suitable race.
The final leg looks to have a bit of depth to it, but Thunder Man, to be piloted by Whyte, gets his chance to return to form after coming up with an inside gate.
The Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained gelding turned in a sound effort two starts back behind Go Go Victory after covering ground and coming to the outside in the straight and he again worked home soundly last time after being ridden back from the outside barrier.
His last success came over this course and distance just over a year ago when appreciating rain-affected conditions and this is the first time since the victory that he is likely to have everything in his favour.
Other worthy inclusions are Serious Play, Happy Kid, Super Fantasy and Rain In Spring, while Jubiloso is going to need an inspired ride to overcome the outside alley.