Mighty Sun ready to shine despite going up a class
Mighty Sun goes into today's Hong Kong University Alumni Association Challenge Cup (1,650m) as a Hong Kong maiden rising in class without having won a race, but his form says he is a horse on the up and ready to score.
The Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained Mighty Sun (Derek Leung Ka-chun) took some time to get his act together after arriving as a Class Three galloper, but started to find himself by the time he tumbled into Class Four in February.
But it has been in his most recent two runs on the all-weather and at Happy Valley that he has shown himself to be coming right.
He stuck on strongly in a well-run 1,200m on the all-weather behind Mutual Friendship two runs back, then went to 1,650m at Happy Valley.
A natural leader at this distance, Mighty Sun did a little work to get to the lead at the Valley, but no sooner had he settled in front than Wong's Favourite looped the field mid-race and took him on again.
That meant Mighty Sun had to work again from the 700m and the pair ran several lengths clear of the field. While Floral Picasso and Legend were able to get by Mighty Sun in the run home after having the drop on him, it was a bitter fight with the latter for second and Mighty Sun did a mighty job.
From gate five, he should be the first horse to the rail in the lead and that has been a golden position on the all-weather in recent times.
While he might get some company from Super Caga (Thomas Yeung Kai-tong), the two riders will know they are damaging their own chances if they contest the pace too hard early, so they should be content to roll at an even speed.
And if Super Caga or even Golden Treasure (Weichong Marwing) do want to press the issue for the lead, Leung will have the option of the box-seat run and that is hardly a disadvantage. Thought he takes a class rise without a win, Mighty Sun will prove himself well up to Class Three and it is worth bearing in mind that the main form in the race - Mighty Sun, Super Caga, Needles And Thread and Amazing Choice - all comes out of Class Four.
All of them will enjoy a weight drop and it is questionable whether the topweights can give them a weight concession when they should all enjoy nice trips.
Douglas Whyte showed Jeff Lloyd the way with Amazing Choice last start, having the five-year-old handy to the lead before he was outsprinted by Super Caga, but he looks the danger if the leaders do chop at each other.
Me Tsui - seventh in the trainers'
table - is having another stellar campaign, having sent out 555 runners to the races for a winning strike rate of: 6%