Carter banks on a Lucky Touch for farewell gift
GARY Carter is to head home to England after a shorter-than-expected Hong Kong stay but he can end his stint as he began it in September - on a winning note.
Carter partners regular ride Lucky Touch in the sixth event today and they have what it takes to beat a fairly ordinary Class Four field.
On the opening day of the campaign he won the featured Kwangtung Cup on Our Pal but winners have been relatively scarce since and Carter wisely opted last week to return to England for the start of the new season there.
The Derek Cruz-trained Lucky Touch has twice run into a couple of horses just a shade too good on the day in his most recent outings but his overall form suggests he is up to winning in this grade and he is unlikely to get a better chance than today.
Lucky Touch has not been in action for five weeks since running fourth behind Pretty Long Legs at Happy Valley and he had been backed up very quickly off a run behind Bounty to compete at the city track.
Trainer Cruz wisely gave him a breather after the Valley run and he has brought him back seriously over the past couple of weeks. Two of his most recent workouts have been excellent and Lucky Touch looks in perfect condition for a solid crack at the money here.
On his run over this trip behind Goldchin Champ when he was beaten a length, Lucky Touch has clear claims particularly as a number in this field of 12 look to have plenty to do.
His earlier 1,000-metre run when caught close home by improving Bounty was also good enough to have him winning here, particularly as the winner looks capable of scoring again in better company.
Carter has also the benefit of an ideal barrier (3) from which he can easily get the run of the race and the former dual champion apprentice of England would love to bow out on a winning note.
The quinella is a tricky affair but Lester Piggott's topweight Horse Supreme has claims along with the speedy Auto Focus, who will be ridden by top apprentice Francis K.S. Lam.
In the seventh event Source Of Life can register his first win - if ridden in the manner the horse would seem to clearly prefer.
Last time out, when very strongly supported, he was ridden up on the pace and found nothing when the chips were down.