Draw is not an issue for improving Quantum
Triple Trio punters can sharpen the darts for the first two legs of the HK$2 million exotic bet type on Sunday, but should be able to nail down the third-leg combinations by basing tickets around Ricky Yiu Poon-fai's improving Quantum Power.
Zac Purton has been the horse's constant companion throughout his three-start career, and the jockey will find himself slipping just one extra pound of lead into the saddle after winning on the gelding last start at 126 pounds.
The extended ratings band of 65-40 for the Class Four Jules Audemars Handicap (1,400m) has compressed the weight scale comprehensively, and will ensure Quantum Power carries one extra pound, despite a six-point rating increase for his last-start win.
On paper, Quantum Power has drawn awkwardly in gate 12, but astute video watchers may consider the outer gate a positive for Yiu's horse after a huge second-up run when he was caught without cover was followed by a nerve-wrenching win from an inside draw.
Purton called on all his skill to re-balance Quantum Power in the straight after the horse was heavily bumped in moving off the rail to make his bid. It wasn't until he drifted outside horses and found clear running, that the son of Fusaichi Pegasus really knuckled down to his task and chased down the leaders to claim a neck win over Super Genki, Scent Of Osmanthus and subsequent winner Peppermint, who finished three-quarters of a length away in fourth.
His prior run was far more impressive and, to get within three-quarters of a length of Dispatcher after a wide trip, rang the bells that Quantum Power was a promising three-year-old.
The secret, at this early stage of his career, might well be that he is a better horse when allowed to race outside his rivals and, from gate 12, Purton won't likely have an option to do otherwise. He may have to cover more ground than major dangers Fortune General and Ming Hoi Glory, who have both drawn well, but Quantum Power boasts a superior turn of foot, and an uninterrupted passage may be all he needs to sweep past them on the way to the line.
Ming Hoi Glory from the inside draw should enjoy a great trip on or behind the speed for powerhouse combination Darren Beadman and John Moore.
Last-start winner Fortune General should also be well positioned from barrier four for Douglas Whyte and John Size, while The Prince and Good Gains must also be considered among the trio chances.
The opening leg is a tricky affair, but improvement can be expected from the Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained Intellectualstride, who has drawn the inside gate and looks well placed at his fourth start.
Intellectualstride was cooked three-wide on the speed last start when 31/4 lengths sixth behind Pretty One, but will enjoy a more favourable trip along the rail this time and may well attempt to lead this field with 121 pounds.
Howard Cheng Yue-tin had no luck from barrier eight last time and will be keen to make amends from the inside draw and, with the option to take the box seat trail if things get too hot in front, Intellectualstride looks a promising banker proposition.
Charmgold and Multiproud should be considered trio chances with no weight on their backs, while wide draws for the debutants Supreme Flight and Smart Touch most likely rule out that pair.
The middle leg is a real puzzler, but lightweights Gold Rush, Zephyrus and the in-form Watch First should be leading chances.
Gold Rush has dropped to a winning level in the ratings and Eddie Lai Wai-ming takes over from apprentice Keith Yeung Ming-lun for Size as the gelding steps back up to 1,800m form the inside gate.
Key to success
Quantum Power is awkwardly drawn, but that may come as a blessing: 12