Mosse holds the key to TT riches
French master Gerald Mosse will hold the key to Triple Trio fortunes at Happy Valley tomorrow night with two excellent chances, East Ocean and Master Rio, book-ending the exotic bet, which carries an estimated dividend of HK$2 million.
Mosse, fresh from driving notorious non-winner Sohna to victory on Sunday, and finishing second in the Group Two Winterbottom Stakes aboard King Kool Kat in Perth last Saturday, is in fine form and will ensure his two chances are hard to beat from good draws.
Almond Lee and Mosse team up in the opening leg with on-pacer East Ocean, who has drawn nicely in five and should be able to set his own tempo with few natural leaders in the field.
The pace will prove critical to East Ocean's chances, and Mosse will have a big hand to play in determining the results - if he goes too fast he will allow in-form Ho Ho Life and Douglas Whyte into the race late, but too slow and he may be outsprinted by Unique Speed, who can easily camp on his back throughout from gate one.
Ho Ho Life will need some early pace to catch the leaders from barrier 12 with 133 pounds, but the last-start winner should not be overlooked as a serious top three chance.
Unique Speed will get every favour and, despite having enough early toe himself to find the front, Alex Lai Hoi-wing is more likely to wait until they have straightened before the horse has to do anything other than follow the leader.
Happy Cha Cha has drawn awkwardly in gate nine, but has been racing well and should not be dismissed with the astute Jeff Lloyd in the saddle, while Suisse D'Or and Win Win Fellowship also make appeal for those scouting wider for a value runner.
Mosse partners Master Rio in the final leg and should again take advantage of his good draw to position the horse behind the speed, set by other low-drawn runners Our Pegasus and Star Of Fame.
Whyte's early decisions on Fulfil A Wish will prove critical to the pace of the race and, if he elects to roll forward from his horror barrier 12, the Durban Demon could be caught punching the breeze throughout, as Aussie duo Darren Beadman and Tye Angland are unlikely to open the door to the rails early.
Meanwhile, Mosse can be smoking his pipe behind the pace on Master Rio, a horse who has won and chalked up five minor placings over the Happy Valley 1,200m for trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung.
The three on-pace horses already mentioned are obvious inclusions in this third of the bet, but Great Guy also deserves some attention from the inside draw with Felix Coetzee on board for trainer Tony Cruz.
The middle pin is a cracker and deservedly the feature race, with Topping Light, Chevalier King and Five Clubs all likely to be prominent in many combinations.
All three have drawn ideal barriers and a case can be made for banking each of them, or perhaps rolling the dice with a double-banker combination.
Topping Light has drawn barrier two for Caspar Fownes and Olivier Doleuze, and is a most consistent performer over this course with two wins and two placings from his four attempts at the Valley 1,200m.
He will strip fitter for his resuming fourth behind Turbo King over 1,000m on November 17 and should be hard to shake off in the straight, despite his impost of 132 pounds.
Chevalier King has also drawn to get a good trail and, despite top weight of 133 pounds, will also be right in the action when the whips are cracking, with Beadman likely to shadow Doleuze and Topping Light throughout.
Brett Prebble is back from suspension and his engagement for Five Clubs gives the finicky, but talented galloper a serious shot at an upset with 118 pounds from barrier three.
For the record
Gerald Mosse has ridden 30 times at the Valley this season for a winning strike rate of: 10%