Lightly weighted Gaucho can run opposition ragged
Matthew Chadwick's talents have already been well publicised and the star apprentice can keep his winning momentum going when he teams up with speedy Gaucho in the middle leg of tomorrow's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
The 18-year-old gained plenty of recognition when riding 26 winners from 237 rides during a stint in Australia, and he has hit the Hong Kong scene running with four successes and six placings from only 23 rides.
While Gaucho may not be the biggest hearted horse going around tomorrow, the David Ferraris-trained gelding looks placed to advantage on his preferred all-weather surface with only 107 pounds, taking into account Chadwick's allowance.
It was a similar scenario on November 2006 when Marco Chui Kwan-lai teamed up with Gaucho, his allowance reducing the gelding's weight to 108 pounds, and the pair led all the way to score an effortless win.
Although he has only managed one win in his next 23 starts, which came under the expert guidance of Felix Coetzee, he should be at his peak after two runs from a break, bounce on the lead, and be able to run his rivals ragged.
His main danger will come from in-form Top Top Light from the Caspar Fownes stable, while other worthy inclusions are Plan B, Thunder Dancing, Taiji Spirit and Super Snippets.
In the opening leg, Pacific Alliance fits the banker bill after indicating his winning turn had again arrived with a luckless third last start.
The Sean Woods-trained gelding failed to stay out a strong 2,200m at Happy Valley two starts back, but he was unfortunate not to be right in the finish last start after being held up early in the straight.
His performance to come from the tail of the field was excellent for a Class Five performer, and from a more favourable draw, he should take a closer position in the run.
Although better known on turf, he does have some sound all-weather track credentials, including a third in 2006 when he was held up for most of the straight.
He looks the best banker option in an open race, while his toughest opposition will come from recent trial winner Sir Lago, Centennial Smile, Couldn't Care Less, Limoncello and Dragon Stride.
The final leg is tricky, but Medallion looks a value banker, given he appears to have finally put his bad barrier manners behind him.
Although proving costly due to his habit of missing the start, he has been behaving better at the trials, winning a December 5 heat and placing behind Divine Touch in another test last Friday.
With a clean break, he can take a prominent position, and finally live up to the potential he has always shown.
The Almond Lee Yee-tat-trained My Way will be improved by two runs and, with a rise in distance, is worth considering, while others capable of getting into the act are Red Ruler, Animation, Bajan Bell and Helene Elite.