Dream Team on a mission
Many were ready to write off the championship hopes of John Size and Douglas Whyte only six weeks ago after slow starts to the season, but the Dream Team has well and truly awoken and has that winning look again today.
Perennial champion jockey Whyte, seeking a 10th straight title, has had 13 wins since November 28 and made serious progress against everyone but championship lamplighter Brett Prebble.
He has pulled back only one winner on Prebble in that time but made his way from mid-table to third place and now has the leader in his sights next.
But it is Size who has set things alight in the trainers' table, with 14 wins since November 28, including four trebles at Sha Tin where he generally keeps his winning form.
After being 10 wins off the lead in late November, and well down the list, Size has surged through the field to be third and only four wins off the leading trainer, Tony Cruz.
The Dream Team links up for six runners, including the hottest favourite Brave Kid in the final event.
Everything went wrong for Brave Kid when he made his jump into Class Three last start out after an impressive debut win up the straight.
Caught wide, a bit too keen for his own good early, and then given a solid knock sideways on the home turn, he had every excuse to lose and most horses of his limited experience would have thrown the towel in. But Brave Kid kept finding enough to scrape home and, with a better draw this time, he looks the winner again.
While Brave Kid is the star of the team today, another Size treble certainly would not surprise, given the strength of the remainder of his string.
The Australian saddles up Hussler earlier in the day and, also from a low draw, he gets the chance to atone for finishing fourth last start when knocked down badly in the final 100m.
Hussler was probably not going to win the race, but he was not going to be too far away either behind Flying Colours. He appears to have returned well this season as a four-year-old.
National Treasure, Man In the Mirror, Brilliant Chapter and Presto fill out Size's card and all have winning claims in their races.
On the rise
John Size has surged through the field to be third and only four wins off the leading trainer, Tony Cruz
The Aussie has set things alight in the trainers' table with this many winners since November 28: 14