Consistent Special Days ready to soak up limelight
Tough competitor Special Days caught the eye finishing close up in the Stewards' Cup last week and the John Size-trained six-year-old gets his chance to become a black type winner in the Jebsen Centenary Vase (1,800m) at Sha Tin this afternoon.
The winner of six of his 27 starts, with another 11 starts bringing first four finishes, Special Days (Douglas Whyte) has been a model of consistency throughout his career and, even moreso, over this course.
In five attempts at the Sha Tin 1,800m, he has been beaten in a photo twice, won twice and the only unplaced run was behind Collection last season when he certainly should have finished second instead of sixth.
Punters won't get the same kind of odds that were on display for Special Days in the Stewards' Cup, but the drop in grade should see him take away the prize.
Special Days enjoyed a terrific run to the home turn, but got held up at the 300m as Whyte waited for Eyshal to weaken out of his way before being able to launch his challenge.
By that time, the winner Fellowship had gone from a clear length behind Special Days to a length in front of him before he could get into his full stride.
That margin was maintained down to the post and Special Days was not unlucky to lose but the hold up simply added more merit to what was a cheeky effort at the top level under any circumstances.
While Armada and Jackpot Delight were respectable last week, too, and have the benefit of the quick back-up, the danger looks to be Mr Medici (Alex lai Hoi-wing), another consistent galloper over all distances.
Finishing eighth in the Hong Kong Cup last start was arguably his worst performance since arriving, but he had not been out of the first four in any previous run.
He finished a length behind Special Days in that Hong Kong Cup. While there is little doubt Special Days is going a touch better now, they meet on the same terms and Mr Medici had the advantage of being More tactically versatile.
Tempo looks a question, with rank outsider Deposer looking the only leader, and Interchina Star and Mr Medici appear those most likely to be in touch with him.
Douglas Whyte and John Size have been a deadly combination at Sha Tin, racking up an impressive strike rate of: 17%
Special Days has won six times from 27 outings and has earned prizemoney to the tune of: $5.9m