Quality and quantity give Whyte the edge

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 February, 2010, 12:00am

Champion jockey Douglas Whyte gets a golden opportunity at Sha Tin this afternoon to pull back valuable winners on leader Brett Prebble, who holds a 12-win advantage.

Prebble is serving a careless-riding suspension.

Whyte has a full book of engagements and also looks a strong favourite to claim the Jockey Challenge with a number of terrific chances, making him the early $1.90 favourite.

Darren Beadman at $3.20 and Jeff Lloyd ($8) have solid cards, but perhaps Weichong Marwing, who defeated Whyte on countback at Sha Tin a couple of meetings ago, could prove the toughest to beat at juicy odds of $16.

Hopefully there will be no need for a countback this time as Whyte can get off to a flying start with John Size's debutant Entrapment, who has trialled nicely for his first-up task over 1,000m. Stablemate Gold Rush will take a power of beating in the second from barrier three.

Shining Victory hung out on the turn at his Happy Valley debut, but will have no such dramas handling the straight 1,000m and will have as much galloping room as he needs from gate one.

Ice Fire, Fortune Dragon and Elegance Fortune boast each-way claims to give Whyte more points through the middle of the card and, if his early rides fire as anticipated, he will take a lot of running down.

Berio is highly fancied to claim the Jebsen Marine Handicap (1,400m) for in-form trainer Paul O'Sullivan, while Special Days turned in a ripper to run fourth in the Group One Stewards' Cup last Sunday and is on the quick back-up to the 1,800m course that he loves.