Par Excellence can revel in class drop
Par Excellence has been runner-up in four of his seven sprints at Happy Valley this season and can finally go one better in the opening leg of tomorrow night's Triple Trio, which is estimated to reach HK$10 million.
The David Ferraris-trained five-year-old came out raring to go in his first three starts for Douglas Whyte with straight seconds over the 1,000m - beaten a half-length by Cheerful City, a half-length by Not Quite Perfect and three-quarters by Happee Gift.
He then failed to factor after missing the start in mid-December for Whyte, before failing to hold off Just Chill by a neck when returning in early February over this course and distance with Zac Purton in the saddle.
Those efforts were followed by two non-threatening runs in Class Three and a Class Four run earlier this month at Sha Tin, where he has never finished better than fifth in seven career starts for three different riders.
Par Excellence returns to his favourite stomping ground and, with Whyte likely to engineer a good run behind an expected strong pace from gate five, he can topple them late.
Solar Up is one of a few speedballs in the race and has blossomed as a sprinter at Happy Valley, registering his second course-and-distance win from his past three starts. He remains one of the main dangers with apprentice Derek Leung Ka-chun offering weight relief.
Lucky Selection, a last-start winner, Go Fay Fay, Mighty Winner and Single Malt are capable of filling a placing.
Unique Speed has hit form at the right time with consecutive seconds behind Euro Swiftly and The Untouchablelad over this course and distance (1,650m) and should get all the favours in the middle leg from gate three under leading rider Brett Prebble.
He is a rock-solid anchor along with Lucky Amici, who has also hit a good patch of form. He is backing up after finishing fourth in that same The Untouchablelad race and second last Wednesday behind The Witch's Broom over this course and distance.
Viva Guy, East Ocean, Mega Bullet, Central Role and Lions' Fortune can fight it out for third.
Fly High has solid sprint credentials over the Valley 1,000m for two wins and multiple placings, and can be forgiven for his latest start when failing to recover after being forced off the course at the 500m by rival Eternal Beauty.
He is drawn ideally for Alex Lai Hoi-wing and will be hard to keep out of the finish in a tricky final leg.
Plan B is hard to recommend on his exposed form, but has three wins from four course-and-distance runs at this level, including a December win. He should make his presence felt from a good alley under 10-pound claimer Kevin Leung Ka-wai.
At Moment In Time, Eternal Beauty, Sea Prince, Windicator Returns and Longwah Rising are other principal players.