Moore has the Final Answer to Chinese New Year Cup
Final Answer is screaming out for the 1,400 metres of the Chinese New Year Cup, and big-race trainer John Moore looks to have timed the Kyllachy four-year-old's preparation to perfection.
Moore got one hand on the Gome Cup with the talented prospect at his latest start, where only a dead-heat with London China Town robbed connections of the full prize, but, with a switch back to turf and the step up in trip, Final Answer should be having the last laugh all to himself today.
Ironically, the worst run of Final Answer's career came when he stepped up to 1,400m for the first time in June last year, but a slow break that day and tendency to overrace at that stage of his career proved his downfall. The four-year-old has returned a more tractable racehorse this preparation.
Darren Beadman should have little trouble assuming a forward trailing position from gate seven and the extra furlong now looks little obstacle to Final Answer, who has physically strengthened up since his maiden campaign.
If the gelding begins as he has in recent wins and relaxes in the early stages, Beadman will be swinging off the galloper in a perfect trailing position entering the straight, and if that is how the race pans out, anything less than an impressive victory would be a surprise.
London China Town is also entered in the event and is sure to give plenty of cheek, but it must be acknowledged that had all things been equal at their last meeting, the Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained runner would not have figured in the winning photo.
Final Answer worked early to cross the field on the all-weather track from gate 12, while London China Town rolled to a perfect trail from gate five and, with the draws much closer together this time around, the judge won't have to split hairs to declare the victor.
Final Answer's biggest danger may come in the shape of David Hall's in-form High Point, who has been competitive and came within a half-length of toppling Little Bridge over this course last start when finishing third alongside Let Me Fight in the Chinese Club Challenge Cup on January 1.
Brett Prebble has hopped back aboard High Point for this assignment and, for the first time this season and from gate six, the seven-year-old should be in touch with Final Answer throughout the early stages of the event.
You Gotta Pay, the John Size-trained lightweight who will be ridden by Douglas Whyte, also commands huge respect in his first outing back this term and, with 118 pounds and barrier three, the Bianconi gelding cannot be ruled out.
You Gotta Pay recorded his biggest winning margin over this course on March 28 last year and, after two solid barrier trials in preparation for this run, may have fresh legs that give him the X-factor and enable him to outsprint the market favourites.