Impressive Ottimo looks a home run for Cheng
Ottimo has been impressive winning his last two starts over the Happy Valley mile and is the standout from a gun draw to repeat the dose in the middle leg of tomorrow night's Triple Trio, with an estimated dividend of HK$2 million.
The Dennis Yip Chor-hung-trained three-year-old - an international sale graduate - was ineffective in his season debut in mid-January on the dirt, but put in his first glimpse of form 17 days later when finishing off soundly for fourth behind Classa Supreme, Precision Magic and Win A Dozen after being reined back from a wide gate over this course and distance.
He went forward from gate 11 and incurred a hard run at his next start on April 18, but held on gamely to beat Viva Guy and Precision Magic. Ottimo made it two-on-the-trot 10 days later over the same journey when hitting the front 200m out after a handy run on the fence and won easing down by 13/4 lengths over The Untouchablelad, who franked the form next time out by crushing his rivals by 51/4-lengths.
Regular rider Howard Cheng Yu-tin should again have him in the prime spot throughout from gate one and he looks classy enough to hold his own off a nine-point penalty in this race off an extended rating band.
Fun Heroes makes his course debut, but has shown a sterling turn of foot to figure in the placings in three of his first four starts before powering home to score a solid win over the 1,400m last time out. He's an ideal dual-banker play.
Euro Swiftly, Central Role, Vilasol and Meridian Pride are worthy place contenders.
Manfred Man Ka-leung's Victory Style has shown a return to form following a stable change in April and looks a key player in the opening leg.
He scored a nice course and distance (1,650m) win under Brett Prebble when tackling Class Four for the first time, before another sound but unlucky half-length third behind Hurricane Dash and Travel Guide in this grade last month.
Master Gunner has been 'Mr reliable' with a top-three finish in six of eight starts, including a win on rain-affected going, and fills the role as a co-banker with stable rider Darren Beadman guiding from an ideal gate six.
Fluke, Happy Ambassador, Super Genki, Whatabob and Silver Sun can battle it out for a placing.
In the final leg, it's hard to go past the Caspar Fownes-trained Topping Light as the banker. He has chalked up three wins, four placings and a fourth from as many starts in his first season - among them two wins and a second over this course and distance (1,200m) - and will have all the favours from gate four with capable Ben So Ting-hung offering an important seven pounds of weight relief.
Turf Magic has been threatening in two of three runs over this trip, including a neck third behind First In Command and Master Rio, and will be rolling late from gate 11 under Zac Purton.
Golden Bauhinia, Master Rio, Star Of Fame, Bespoke Master and Jun Dao are logical place chances.