Romancing Tamar looks a real gem in middle leg of TT
Romancing Tamar can help spread the love to punters by playing a banking role in the massive HK$8 million jackpot at Happy Valley Triple Trio tomorrow night, and Douglas Whyte's mount looks a standout chance in the heart of the exotic.
Trainer Tony Millard has been plucking wins with Romancing Tamar easier than low-hanging fruit after receiving the horse from former trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing at the juicy mark of 26 in the ratings.
Romancing Tamar has now harvested three wins and five minor placings from his 11 starts for the new stable, and although he has returned to the giddy heights of a 53-rating and is in Class Four now, the horse remains competitive and will give punters a great show from barrier five.
The biggest advantage of the good draw and having Whyte engaged is that you can be sure Romancing Tamar will land in a trailing position behind the leaders - the spot from which the horse has produced most of his best performances and a position usually favoured when the rail is in the 'C' position. Punters can strike the pen through the four-year-old's last start where, from gate nine, Greg Cheyne was caught wide and forced to drift to the tail of the field before sweeping wide rounding the home turn.
A horrible C-track bias stopped any horses making ground out wide that night, and the fact Romancing Tamar was also sandwiched between two runners in the straight contributed to his 11-length trouncing at the hands of Perfect Ten.
Barrier five will ensure Whyte gets the run of the race and should also ensure a top-three finish for the Volksraad gelding.
Cheyne has landed the ride on likely leader Blade Force for leading trainer Tony Cruz after establishing a reputation for some well-judged front-running rides, and this horse is also an honest performer, who will be favoured by the rail position.
Blade Force finished second behind Perfect Ten in the same race as Romancing Tamar last time, and was grinding to the line well after vying for the lead, but was no match for the winner who camped on his back throughout.
Brett Prebble's mount, Supreme Tycoon, should also be rated a strong place chance from the good draw, and the top Valley jockey will likely tail Whyte and Romancing Tamar throughout the early stages of the race.
Zezao is a thief, but, with 117 pounds, he is at a dangerous position in the handicap and should not be discounted, while cases can also be made for Bold Tack, Redoute's Fortune and My Way.
It is very hard to go past Healthy Manner and gun hoop Darren Beadman in the opening leg, and the pair look thrown into this event with 117 pounds from barrier one.
Beadman doesn't often ride at this weight, but his determination to make the light handicap for this race reflects what an outstanding opportunity it is for this horse to record his third win.
Shum could not have dreamed up a better race if he had tried, and has probably woken up with nightmares for the past few weeks wondering if he forgot to put in the entry for this race, which has surely been circled in his calendar since the horse's last-start romp over 1,800m.
The other front-runners in the race should ensure a decent tempo, but this should only work in Healthy Manner's favour, and his biggest danger will be lurking to his outside in the shape of the lightly weighted Solar Wonder, who won the pair's last battle by a neck over 2,200m.
The final leg is an absolute nightmare for finding a banker, and punters smart enough to nail the first couple of legs will need plenty of luck in their corner when the gates crash back on the closer.
Only way is up
Romancing Tamar has been a revelation since moving to Tony Millard (pictured), winning three races and earning: HK$1.6m