TT finale looks a breeze for Spinnaker
The combination of maturity and a step up in distance has brought out the best in Spinnaker and he will take a power of beating in the final leg of Sunday's Triple Trio, which is estimated to top HK$6 million.
Spinnaker was a non-factor in his only run on debut last season over the 1,400 metres, and was again struggling to keep up over that same distance when returning on October 11.
Trainer John Size found the timing right to step him up to 1,800m on November 29 and the four-year-old showed good speed from gate 13 to score a handy Class Four win at 25-1.
He returned 28 days later over 2,000m and again showed terrific gate speed to settle near the leaders and pick up nicely to take control 50m out from Baturo for a short-priced win.
Size had him back to the 1,600m for his Class Three debut 15 days ago and he fought on well for third behind Happy Seven and Ribot Legend.
With Douglas Whyte getting down to the minimum 115 pounds, Spinnaker looks hard to deny from gate two.
Napa II has yet to miss a placing in seven starts, including a third win last time out over the 1,600m, and Olivier Doleuze should give him every chance to see out the 2,000m from gate one.
Silver Blaze, Yue Lu Treasure, Monte Cristo, Rocket Power, Win Practitioner and Fat Dragon are other possible chances.
In the opening leg, honest Elite Sixty-Six has been knocking on the door in his four runs this term, including a good effort behind useful El Morro over the straight 1,000m, and will be suited by the extra 200m. The John Moore-trained galloper has handled a big weight successfully in the past and is the logical banker.
Lunar Reflections has to overcome a tricky gate, but made a good late impression for third in his debut earlier this month over this trip and is the main danger, while Supreme Win, Lombardi, Turf Magic, Master Touch and No More Green also merit consideration.
Brave Heart looks an outstanding banker in the middle leg. He has caught the eye in first his two efforts over the 1,200m - a runaway win to go with an earlier second and looks right at home over the 1,400m.
Soldier can act as a dual banker play. He came right following the addition of side winkers to be a closing second two runs back over this trip, and never got a crack at them in the straight last time out at the Valley.
Trainer David Hall has called on Brett Prebble and he will be hard to keep out of the finish, while Eight Plus Nine, Jumbo Gold, St Didar, High Intelligent, Fly Me To The Moon and Blessing can fight it out for the final pieces of the trio jigsaw.