Cheng holds the key to Triple Trio riches
Howard Cheng Yu-tin is enjoying his best season with 44 winners and can add to his tally with plum rides on Touch Chic and Fat Choy Oohlala in a tough Triple Trio at Sha Tin's final meeting of the season on Sunday.
With the jackpot estimated to reach a whopping HK$30 million, the Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained Touch Chic looks the standout in the middle leg after his solid victory last time over 1,400m.
The three-year-old, who showed some promise in his first three runs, then made an impressive dash after missing the start to gun down Double Dragon - who franked the form last Sunday - for a neck win.
Touch Chic is drawn wide for his first 1,600m test, but has a better turn of foot than his rivals.
Cheng has passed up the ride on likely favourite Jimson The Best, whom he guided to a last-start second over the 1,400m.
He has caught the eye in his first four runs and is a logical dual-banker play in his first mile test with table-topping Douglas Whyte on board.
United, New Idea, Gold Rush, Sounds Excellent, Cheerful Double and Lufeng Fortune are all in good form and should make it a blanket finish for third.
The Dennis Yip Chor-hung-trained Fat Choy Oohlala put the writing on the wall in his debut last month over the 1,200m at Sha Tin and looks the one to beat in the final leg.
The three-year-old recovered off a sluggish break and stayed on well for a promising fourth behind exciting Sichuan Success, Praising and Sunseeker. He'll be fitter and will enjoy every inch of the extra 200m under the guidance of Cheng.
Last-start winners King Of Scots and Ambitious Owner, Royal Pumpkin, Mascot Fortune, Legend Express and Green Cash are capable of figuring in the placings.
A Class Five is never easy to get right and the Jockey Club has made things harder by programming the unreliable gallopers in the opening leg. On current form, it's hard not to like Metro Rider, who won two starts ago over this course and distance (1,400m), and looks a logical banker.
Wind Knight showed improvement with a drop in grade and move to side winkers for a neck second behind Nice King and looks the main danger with Whyte in the saddle, while Treasure Raiders, Splendid Sails, Speed Racer, Spicy Shrimp and Jolly Bird can fight it out for the third prize.