Compact Yarn ticks all the boxes as a banker
Fresh from the disappointment of Sacred Kingdom's sixth in the KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore on Sunday, trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai will return to Happy Valley tomorrow night with high hopes Compact Yarn will claim the final leg of the Triple Trio - the Yue Wan Handicap (1,800m).
Punters can cash in on the in-form gelding by making him a banker in the exotic, which carries a healthy HK$4.5 million jackpot and looks ripe for the picking.
Compact Yarn has hit his straps in recent runs, chalking up two wins and three second placings from his last five starts and, from barrier three, the son of Elvstroem looks set to fire once again.
Darren Beadman's mount, Healthy Manner, looks the obvious danger, and a double banker may prove highly rewarding with Danny Shum Chap-shing's gelding also in the form of his career.
Healthy Manner has responded to the champion Australian hoop on all four occasions 'the Dazzler' has been in the saddle, with the pair racking up two wins and two seconds from their partnership.
Both Compact Yarn and Healthy Manner like to race on the pace and are well suited at the tricky 'C' course, and punters can expect them to be involved in the finish.
A host of possible dangers include Zephyrus, Happy Cha Cha, and Suisse D'or, and perhaps the topweight Nordic Star may return to form from the inside gate with apprentice Vincent Ho Chak-yiu in the saddle and a drop to Class Four.
Like Yiu's trip to Singapore, it all went pear-shaped for Tony Cruz and Matthew Chadwick in the Singapore Airlines International Cup (2,000m) with California Memory, but the leading trainer can bounce back with Super Genki in the middle leg. Barrier two will ensure Chadwick will ride for luck on the backmarker, and punters will be hoping he can pick his way through the field in the straight without having to swing via the beer garden.
Super Genki has been racing well and is certainly capable of returning to the winners stall, with a decent tempo likely to be set by the free-striding Lotus Love.
Apprentice Ben So Tik-hung will aim to bounce the gelding to the front from an outside gate for trainer Peter Ho Leung but, until the horse gets the tongue tie, or a new ticker, his chances of remaining at the front until the winning post are slim.
Brett Prebble's mount, Vilasol, and Weichong Marwing's ride, Bledisloe, are both leading chances and must be respected, while Brilliant Chariot should also feature in the finish, providing the in-form Jeff Lloyd can weave a little bit of early magic from gate 10.
The opening leg is a tough one, but Zac Purton may hold the key on Just Chill, who has dropped to an attractive mark in the ratings and looks primed for a late season win by trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen.
Just Chill's last victory came off a mark of 54 in February last year, so at 46 now, the International Sale Graduate should be able to hold his own with 119 pounds.
Diamond Rainbow, Star Of Fame and Superior Warrior also boast solid claims in an open event, and perhaps the lightly weighted Megabucks and Country Magic can also be entertained from middle draws.