Another Special day awaits Size and Coetzee
John Size and Felix Coetzee have been a formidable combination this season and their impressive statistics look set to get another boost when the promising Special Days lines up in the final leg of tomorrow afternoon's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
With the TT not won on Sunday after some surprise results, the main prize is expected to swell to $15 million and with a light weight and an inside alley, Special Days looks a standout banker.
Coetzee only rode his first winner for Size in April when partnering Pocket Money to victory but the pair has gone from strength to strength since, teaming up on 57 occasions this season for 11 winners at a strike rate better than 19 per cent.
One of those successes was with Special Days, who indicated he was a horse on the rise when winning at his third start at Sha Tin when stepped up to 1,600 metres for the first time.
He was sent out a short-priced favourite at his following start and had valid excuses in finishing fourth to King Acrylic after being slow from the gates and losing his on-pace position before the home turn.
He wasn't really suited at his next start when dropping back to 1,400m but the four-year-old turned in a terrific effort to finish third to Ouraja after being caught off the track throughout.
From a more favourable draw of gate four this time, Coetzee should have Special Days camped right on the back of the speed and with only 113 pounds to carry he should have little trouble returning to his best.
The toughest to beat will be a promising Danesis, despite taking a rise in weight and switching from the all-weather track to turf.
The Danehill colt has always displayed promise and he looked a star in the making last start when ridden from back in the field for the first time.
The three-year-old really lengthened brilliantly in the final stages and recorded exceptional time in his demolition of Courageousheart by nearly five lengths.
Although poorly drawn in gate 13, Christophe Soumillon will likely bide his time in the early stages before bringing him in with a powerful finishing burst in the straight.
The two best other chances are Mutual Fun and King Acrylic, while Propellor, Dashing Thunder and Best Power are capable of filling a place.
The opening leg looks tricky, but As You Wish looks to be the safest banker option with a return to 1,800m.
The Peter Ng Bik-kuen-trained gelding was successful at his only attempt at the journey and there was plenty to like about his last-start third to Aristocracy on the all-weather track.
He will likely be patiently ridden from a wide barrier but he should be able to get home over the top of his opposition.
Others entitled to consideration are Pacific Alliance, Rockalot, Flying Profile and Daneprint.
In the middle pin, Supreme Gold should finally open his winning account with the benefit of blinkers being added for the first time.
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained three-year-old placed at his first three starts for the season before having excuses last time when taken back from a tricky gate and covering ground.
He will find this an easier assignment with a return to Class Four and won't get a better chance to notch a win.
The first starters, Redhill Commander and Special Dragon, create plenty of interest, while the other main chances are First Knight and Super Fighter.