Mighty Sun should prove too hot to handle on dirt track
Mighty Sun has developed into one of the most consistent all-weather performers and should add another dirt mile win to his record in the Peninsula Golden Jubilee Challenge Cup (1,650m) at Sha Tin today.
With the turf track being saved for next week's international race day, the all-weather is the stage for most of today's races including the day's feature and that suits Mighty Sun (Felix Coetzee) just fine.
His form on other surfaces is moderate, but he has found a niche on the dirt, winning four and finishing second another five times in his 16 starts on it, and he has been at his most effective over the 1,650m trip.
And although the form guide shows only a small margin in his favour at this course, Mighty Sun's last-start performance was outstanding.
With the leader that night, Needles And Thread, taking charge of his apprentice and setting white-hot fractions through the first 1,000m, Mighty Sun found himself right there behind the pace as one of the first chasers.
It was a suicidal pace that left the leaders with nothing by the time they turned for home, as illustrated by the final 400m sectional time of 25.22 seconds, which would embarrass a Class Five horse.
The race was set up for the late finishers to run over the top of the leaders, yet Mighty Sun kicked on with great courage to not only hold on and win narrowly over Union's Star but to defeat all the other runners by almost three lengths.
The race is fascinating for the inclusion of No More Green (Brett Prebble) and True Intelligence (Weichong Marwing), who have made their mark as sprinters and step up to the mile this time.
Their natural speed could see them as the front-runners and Mighty Sun taking a comfortable sit behind them. But Mighty Sun also has the capability to lead if necessary and there is no one better than Coetzee in summing up such a situation.
True Intelligence is in form and loves the dirt, and he and No More Green look solid dangers in an open race, but an improver could be topweight Jamesina (Tye Angland).
Tackling the dirt for the first time, Jamesina is coming back off a steady diet of sound performances in Class One and Group races and will find this glorified Class Two a little easier, despite the weight rise.
Mighty Sun's status grows immeasurably when he steps out on the all-weather track, with a winning record of: 4