Spicy Fruity is the one to kick start the new season
Spicy Fruity gave every impression he was a horse of the future when scoring impressively at his debut, and he should use Monday's final leg of the Triple Trio at Sha Tin as a stepping stone to greater things.
The Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained four-year-old stepped out for the first time on July 1 and had little trouble accounting for promising Young Label, who had made such an impact when winning at his debut.
He was tuned up for his return to action in a barrier trial last Friday, and although finishing sixth to Magic King, he moved sweetly throughout the 1,200m heat and was always under a tight rein by jockey Brett Prebble.
Spicy Fruity should camp in an ideal spot on the back of a strong speed and make light work of an eight-pound rise in weight.
His main danger will come from Lucky Quality, who looked a transformed horse when winning a trial in breathtaking fashion last Friday.
The Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained colt showed brilliant gate speed to bounce on the lead and extended effortlessly in the straight to post an eight-length win, stopping the clock at a sizzling one minute, 9.2 seconds for the 1,200m dash.
Although the four-year-old has only managed two placings from seven outings, the trial performance suggested he had returned a much stronger horse, and was set for a prosperous season.
Spicy Fruity and Lucky Quality look a terrific double banker, while other worthy inclusions are Rain Check, Clement Elite, Lions' Fortune and the regular bridesmaid Super Fantasy.
In the opening leg, the promising Norman Invader looks a standout after coming up with barrier one for Felix Coetzee.
The Tony Cruz-trained three-year-old made a huge impression when winning at his debut, and had valid excuses at his only other appearance after boiling over at the start and racing keenly.
The recent all-weather barrier trial winner should obtain the run of the race and bounce back to his best, with his toughest opposition likely to come from Joyful Winner, Sanziro, Scintillation and Enthused.
The middle pin looks tricky, but Best Power could prove a value banker with a drop to Class Four.
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained seven-year-old, a multiple Class Three winner, indicated he was set for a strong return when finishing second to Lucky Quality at the trials without being let off the bit.
This is the easier assignment he has struck for many years, which gives him a chance to end a long losing sequence.
Others entitled to consideration are Baazigar, Kowloon Fit, Connoisseur's Love, Pure Alpha and Ever King.