Flying Smart can send TT fans home with a big smile
Trainer Alex Wong Yu-on will throw all his tricks at the recently imported Flying Smart at the Sha Tin all-weather meeting on Wednesday night, and punters can jump on the bandwagon by making the colt a banker in the final leg of the Triple Trio.
Wong has built a good record on the dirt track in recent years, and has elected to switch his 80-rated British import on the dirt as he sets about nailing a first win for the colt.
Apprentice Vincent Ho Chak-yiu will shave seven pounds from the topweight and the addition of pacifiers for the first time should help the horse deal with any kickback that comes his way as he presses forward from gate 11.
At his two Hong Kong starts, Flying Smart has camped just behind the leaders from good draws but, with a wide gate this time and the apprentice aboard, the colt might be pushed to lead. If he cannot cross completely to the rails, punters can take solace from the fact that it is seemingly easier to sit a little wide on the dirt course than it is on the turf tracks, and many dirt winners are horses who may not have had the best of trips, but have been able to build momentum entering the straight.
In a competitive final leg, The Prince, King Of The Day, King Of Hearts and last-start winner Cheetah Boy all have claims, as does Rocket Proud, who has drawn gate one for Brett Prebble and Tony Cruz.
Cruz has elected to switch Rocket Proud to the dirt for the first time and, from the gun draw with the top jockey engaged, there are plenty of positives to suggest the horse can improve.
The Prince has claims for trainer Caspar Fownes and jockey Mark du Plessis with 114 pounds to carry; while he is no star, he has proven himself an honest sprinter and is always worth consideration in a trio scenario.
The two kings, King Of The Day and King Of Hearts, get in light, have top riders engaged and have also drawn well, and Cheetah Boy should be rated a hope after a gutsy win over this dirt course last time out.
The opening leg isn't much easier, but despite the horror draw, Buccaneer should give a good sight for trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai and apprentice Derek Leung Ka-chun.
Anyone who backed Buccaneer last start will still remember the painful-to-watch run he had up the straight but, for anyone who missed it, Buccaneer didn't see daylight until the 150m mark when the race was all over.
He sported blinkers for the first time on that occasion and is wearing the shades again, and the one positive from gate 14 will be that he has plenty of room to swing to the centre of the straight and make an unimpeded run for victory.
Prebble rode Bucanneer last start, but has made the switch to second placegetter from that race, Suisse D'Or, and has drawn a peach of a gate in three.
The Andreas Schutz-trained gelding flashed home last start to narrowly go down behind Beauty Success, and a similar effort will make him ultra competitive again.
The Fownes-trained Always Well trialled well on this surface over 1,200m on April 8, and comes into this race fully tuned after that effort for third behind Chater Way.
He looks a promising three-year-old and should be able to overcome a tricky draw (9) to figure with the pacifiers on for the first time.
The middle pin appears a great chance for Legend Express to capitalise on his good form by landing another win for Yiu.
Du Plessis will give the horse every favour from gate two and the horse looks well placed with 125 pounds to carry in the middle of the handicap.
Vincent Ho has a good record on the all-weather track, riding 27 times for a winning strike rate of: 11%