With top duo away, Beadman can shine in the Challenge
This afternoon the Jockey Challenge goes into unchartered territory - the first meeting with both premiership leaders Douglas Whyte and Brett Prebble missing - and oddsmakers look like they have it right by posting Darren Beadman at HK$4.5 favourite.
Beadman should at least give his rivals something to chase, as he could easily get away with the first two races, courtesy Sou Ma Tam in the opener and debutant Wasabisabi in the second.
Trainer Caspar Fownes has been responsible for a brilliant bit of planning with Sou Ma Tam, with the easy Thursday night Happy Valley winner remaining in the bottom grade and taking a nominal seven-pound penalty as he attempts to make it two wins in the space of four days.
Sou Ma Tam was aggressively ridden by Brett Prebble on Thursday night, leading throughout over 1,200m on turf, and this afternoon must convert that form to the all-weather track at the same distance.
But he is a hard-fit three-year-old and will probably go a lot further than most of his opposition.
Wasabisabi trialled over 800m down the straight on turf on May 20 and looked a very smart customer.
Although he only won by a length, he was always strongly on the bridle and Hall has repeatedly demonstrated his prowess with first-up winners.
In a Jockey Challenge betting market that is wide open, Glen Boss and Felix Coetzee are equal second picks at HK$6.0, ahead of Howard Cheng Yue-tin at HK$7.0.