Lightweight Buccaneer is the one to beat again
Buccaneer has been a transformed horse since switching to Happy Valley, and he should make light work of a rise in class in the middle leg of Sunday's Triple Trio at the city circuit.
With the TT only being partially won last weekend, the main prize is expected to reach HK$13 million, and despite a tricky draw, Buccaneer makes plenty of banker appeal under a light load.
The Andreas Schutz-trained gelding put together four terrific performances on the trot without winning at Sha Tin, before switching to Happy Valley for the first time on March 3.
The five-year-old was taken back in the field from a wide gate and was beginning to get up a full head of steam in the straight before Zac Purton encountered heavy traffic problems.
He went to the line in fourth place behind Rich Dragon without being fully tested, and little doubt had the breaks gone his way over the concluding stages he would have been gone close to taking the main prize.
He then returned two weeks later from a more-favourable gate five and, after camping in midfield, he opened right up in the straight to score by a widening margin, hitting the line with something in reserve.
The performance indicated Buccaneer would have little trouble in taking a rise to the next class and, with a nine-pound drop in weight, he clearly looks the one to beat, despite having to overcome the awkward draw of gate nine.
His main dangers will come from Encore Win, Country Magic, Top Top Light and Beauty Plus, while the potential improver is Ever Beauty from a good draw.
The John Moore-trained three-year-old was luckless at his debut when held up in the straight, and returned with excuses last start after being posted off the track.
From gate two under Darren Beadman, he gets his chance to return a significantly better result.
In the opening leg, Rocket And Gold fits the banker bill on the back of an eye-catching performance last start.
The Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained gelding was continually shuffled back in the run last start and was spotting the leaders a big break as the field wheeled for home.
After taking needle-eye openings in the straight, the four-year-old rocketed to the line to be beaten only a half-length in what was a terrific performance. He should get a trouble-free run on this occasion from gate three and will only need an ounce of luck in the straight to prove too good.
His main opposition will come from Double Pleasure, Sunny Riviera, Vintage Gold and Night Hunter III.
In the final leg, it's hard to go past Multo Expresso when searching for a banker, given the gelding indicated his winning turn had again arrived when turning in an improved effort last start.
He hinted better things were to come when working home well in a leader-dominated race two starts back behind Billion, before running second to promising three-year-old Something Special last outing.
He will appreciate a slight weight drop from a good draw and looks the one to beat, with his main dangers to come from Wonderful Blessing, Billion, Brilliant Flash and Natural Fatchoy.