In-form Happy Forever can steam home again
Happy Forever can provide Matthew Chadwick with a perfect training run on a fast-finishing backmarker tomorrow before he jets south to accompany Tony Cruz-trained stablemate California Memory in the Singapore International Airlines Cup at Kranji on Sunday.
Triple Trio punters can jump on the bandwagon and use Happy Forever as a solid banker in the middle leg of the exotic, which carries a healthy jackpot of more than HK$4.1 million.
Happy Forever has only recently found his top gear, and Greg Cheyne was the first to drop the clutch on the exciting finisher two runs back when he looped the field to claim his first win at 1,200 metres.
Chadwick was downright cheeky on the improving sprinter last time, and sat at the rear before weaving his way between horses in the straight to help his gelding to a 11/4 lengths thumping over the same trip.
Both those wins and a prior effort for second came from outside gates and, from barrier two this time, the temptation to bounce the gelding into a more forward position will be dangerous.
Now Chadwick knows he can press a turbo button and the young rider should hold his nerve and let his horse settle early, before allowing him to punish yet another field with his superior turn of foot. A good tempo set by the likes of apprentice Vincent Ho Chak-yiu on Hinyuen Paladin and Howard Cheng Yue-tin on My Memory from gate 13, should favour off speed horses in the finish, and punters can be confident Happy Forever is the best of those.
Almond Lee's second-starter, Beautiful Scenery, comes off an impressive debut second behind Fortune General and must be rated a real danger with the benefit of that race under his belt.
Flashing Guy and Harsh Brown are also each-way chances and should be included in the combinations, alongside Wasabisabi, who turned the heat on with his last-start, short-head second to Happy Forever.
The final leg looks a great chance for the John Moore-trained Time After Time to stake his claims at Sha Tin after an impressive Happy Valley win last time out over Gurus Dream at 1,200m.
Time After Time gobbled up the ground to post a three-quarter length win over the runner-up, with another 31/2 lengths away to the third-placed Bet On Me.
Gate 12 has done Darren Beadman no favours, but the one advantage of that gate if Beadman can find some semblance of cover rounding the turn, is that 'The Dazzler' will have first call on when to mount his challenge to the leaders entering the straight.
New arrival and topweight, Sweet Orange, must be considered a danger at his Hong Kong debut on the strength of his recent barrier trial second behind champion miler Beauty Flash.
The David Ferraris-trained colt has been rated at the lofty mark of 85 for his two 1,400m polytrack wins in Ireland, but appears a young horse capable of producing something first up.
Shahjee lost a race after returning a positive swab and hasn't threatened since that 'win' on March 20, but should not be discounted with little weight in a race devoid of winning chances.