Prebble has ammunition to dominate TT
Brett Prebble is the man to bank on in tomorrow night's Triple Trio, which features the novelty of two legs of the Cathay Pacific International Jockeys' Championship - but it is his ride on Turbo King in the middle leg of the HK$2 million exotic that will carry the hopes of many players.
Turbo King competes in a regulation Class Three event, stepping up to the 1,200m after blasting past his rivals at his past two starts.
The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained runner has been dealt no favours at the draw and has come up with a horror gate again but, with plenty of speed on paper, Prebble will no doubt take a tug early and only begin to worry about bringing the promising youngster into the race at the top of the turn.
With Free And Easy, Regency Winner, Sea Prince and First In Command all capable of setting a strong tempo, Turbo King should be able to settle well before unleashing his trademark turn of foot.
Howard Cheng Yue-tin's mount, My Memory, and Vincent Ho Chak-yiu's horse, Supreme Fay Fay, should be able to drop in behind the early pace and get better runs than their slightly awkward gates of seven and eight suggest.
Banking on the 'Valley King' Prebble against the international jockeys may also prove to be an astute play, especially in the final leg of the TT in which he rides Derek Cruz's last-start winner, Nordic Star.
Nordic Star comes off a victory over the same course with Ho in the saddle and, despite the rise in class, carries a similar light weight with Prebble in the irons this time.
Barrier eight is not ideal for this fellow, but he holds his form well once he strikes it.
Julien Leparoux, the Frenchman representing the United States, was drawn to ride the aptly named Travel Guide and he might need to navigate his way past Wong Nai Chung Road and the beer garden on his first night at the Valley from barrier 10.
The advantage for Travel Guide, however, is that he will no doubt drop back for early cover from the gate and, if the champion American jockey can time his run, the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained gelding has the turn of foot to get past the majority of these in the straight.
Douglas Whyte was allotted My Goal for trainer Alex Wong Yu-on, but the champion rider would have been less happy with drawing gate nine.
That will make the Durban Demon's job more challenging, but don't discount the home-ground advantage he holds and make sure to include this lightweight chance in the combinations.
Hold Hands (gate three ) and Cars King Prawn (five) have both drawn good gates and good French riders in Olivier Peslier and Christophe Lemaire respectively and also make strong appeal.
Howard Cheng will be stoked to have been selected to jump aboard the in-form Romancing Tamar and, from barrier five, should use his knowledge of the Valley circuit to make the Tony Millard-trained runner hard to beat in the opening leg.
Prebble's mount, Classa, will no doubt improve for having the senior rider engaged, and barrier four gives him a chance to break his 28-start duck.
Whyte's charge, Harry Harry, will be hoping to strike form again on International Jockeys' Championship night after racing in this event for the past four seasons, winning under Glen Boss in 2006, before finishing seventh for German hoop Andrash Starke in 2007, 11th for American Garrett Gomez in 2008 and fourth for Japanese whip-wielder Yasunari Iwata last year.