Conqueror only needs a little luck
Conqueror was responsible for a terrific effort when resuming from a spell, and with the benefit of that outing, he will only need better luck in running to claim the final leg of tomorrow afternoon's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
The Alex Wong Yu-on-trained seven-year-old settled back in the field with some cover but was shunted four-wide on a limb from the 700m.
He came very wide on the home turn but closed off bravely to be beaten only a length and a half by All Time High, who had controlled the race from the front.
The performance indicated the gelding had returned from the summer break in terrific order, and with an eight-pound swing at the weights over All Time High, he should be able to turn the tables under Vincent Sit Shing-kin.
All Time High was a transformed horse with blinkers added for the first time, and despite the rise in weight, will still be the testing material, while the other main contenders are last-start winner Sunny Smiles, Royal Pumpkin and Supreme Commander.
In the opening leg, Matsukaze should bounce straight to the lead under Jacky Tong Chi-kit, and in a race lacking depth, be able to run his rivals ragged.
The Ricky Yiu Poon-fai-trained gelding will be all the better for his satisfactory first-up performance, appreciate the rise to 1,400m, and take full advantage of a likely soft lead.
Cheerful Happiness looks the main danger on the back of a good first-up performance, while other worthy inclusions are My Smartie, Winning Strategy, Lucky Dragon and Winning Ahead.
In the middle pin, Best Noodle is very well placed under a light weight and can finally open his winning account and continue a great start to the season for Tony Cruz and Matthew Chadwick. The four-year-old turned in several solid performances without winning last season, including his last two when he didn't have the best of luck.
He will need a touch of luck from a wide gate but strikes a winnable event.
The Sean Woods-trained Magic Temple looks the toughest to beat, with others capable of getting into the action being Dr Well, King Fay Fay, Magic Turbo and Sichuan Hero.