Dirt freak Rocket can get back in winning groove
Trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fie surrendered his tag as the leading trainer by strike rate on the weekend but he has his chance to snatch it back at tonight's Sha Tin all-weather meeting with Rocket Win in the Fakei Cup (1,800m).
John Size's win with Danabaa over the Yiu-trained Sweet Baby proved the difference on Sunday, taking the premiership lamplighter narrowly ahead of Yiu on strike rate but Rocket Win (Eddie Lai Wai-ming) gets the right draw and conditions to turn around his form on paper.
The American-bred gelding took a long time to find his form but was a revelation last season, particularly on the dirt with two victories and two close-up placings from his four outings on the surface.
Since returning to racing this term, Rocket Win has had difficult runs from wider gates on the Sha Tin turf and then on the dirt last attempt, finishing well beaten in each.
But a kind draw is so often the remedy for lost form and gate one, where he will start the Fakei Cup, is often an advantage on the all-weather.
Almond Lee Yee-tat's Top Honor (Gerald Mosse) may have been unlucky not to win the race where he beat Rocket Win by over 19 lengths last time out, but in contrast to Yiu's runner, he had enjoyed a miracle run through the race until being held up close to the post.
In the favour of both is the big weight difference between them and the in-form topweight Young Hero (Darren Beadman), who has handled the dirt well before over a less suitable 1,650m.
He raced well with 131 pounds at Happy Valley first-up but was by no means unlucky behind Disguise and sneaks up another two pounds for that second.
Punters should also be aware of a possible form reversal from the Tony Millard-trained Kingsgate Glory (Manoel Nunes), who missed the jump at Happy Valley last week and was shuffled back during the running behind Perseverance.
Taking a class rise, he has only a light weight and looks a likely leader with his blinkers going back on.
Kingsgate Glory could be suited by drawing wider out in the small field as, even with a slow start, he will still get his chance to go forward in the role he prefers at the head of affairs.