Delpech holds the aces in first and final legs of TT
Hot on the heels of the biggest success of his career with Vengeance Of Rain in the Sheema Classic in Dubai, Anthony Delpech is set to continue in celebration mode with outstanding winning chances in the first and final leg of tomorrow night's Triple Trio at Happy Valley.
Delpech rode the perfect race on Vengeance Of Rain on Saturday night to rocket the six-year-old's earnings over HK$71 million and he is sure to be the punters' elect at the city course on the promising China Hero in the opening leg and the in-form Island Speed in race six.
China Hero displayed ability at his first start in December when running fourth over 1,200 metres but he has always given the indication he would excel when getting over a middle distance.
The Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained gelding put the writing on the wall with a close second to First Knight, who has since franked the form by winning again, and he looks set to relish the rise to 1,650m.
The three-year-old looks set to be gifted the run of the race on the back of a decent tempo and he should prove too progressive for his rivals.
This event doesn't appear to have a great deal of depth, with the main dangers likely to come from the well-drawn pair of Dare To Win and Dragon Stride, while the likely leader Silly Boy is a must-include despite being a slight distance query.
Island Speed has been something of a revelation in recent months after looking to have limitations early, scoring two devastating wins on the trot for trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen.
The Flying Spur three-year-old landed his first success of the season two starts back when toweling up subsequent winner Shining Dragon and he then made light work of a class rise last time when easily defeating the ever-reliable Flying Sprinter.
Although poorly drawn in gate 10, Island Speed has brilliant tactical speed and despite facing his acid test with a rise in weight, he still looks to have a decided edge on his opposition.
Reunion, despite the five-year-old being a shade disappointing when resuming from a long spell three weeks ago, looks one of the biggest dangers.
The David Hall-trained gelding had his first start after a wind operation and used too much gas early to overcome his wide barrier.
He will strip a lot fitter for the run, should have little trouble in bouncing on the lead from gate three and he looks aided by the allowance for apprentice Way Leung Ming-wai.
Other worthy inclusions are Good To Go, with a drop in distance, and Amo, while the likes of Flying Sprinter and Glory Years will need luck from their poor draws.
The middle pin also appears to be lacking in depth, which should give a chance to the consistent King Hogan to notch his second success for the season.
The Zabeel gelding was a winner over this course and distance four starts back before proving a shade disappointing at his next attempt after being gifted every chance.
His two performances since have had plenty of merit, given sedate pace has played against him, and this time the six-year-old has the benefit of a seven-pound claim for apprentice Terry Wong Chi-wai.
Likely leader Always Zieten will prove the horse to run down, while the other serious contenders are Classic Horse, who gets all the favours - rise in distance, inside barrier and Douglas Whyte - and Caspar Fownes' Fast Track.