Key to TT riches lies with 'Dream Team'
The 'Dream Team' of Douglas Whyte and John Size looks set to give Triple Trio players a walk-up start to a HK$20 million windfall at Sha Tin on Friday with Shining Triumph and John Dory looking banker material in the first two legs.
With the TT only being partially won on Sunday, the reunification-day pool is tipped to reach HK$20 million and Shining Triumph, who lived up to his pedigree and took to the all-weather with winning aplomb at his first attempt, is the horse to beat.
The handicapper didn't miss a thing, penalising the four-year-old nine points for that performance, but he is meeting similar opposition and Whyte should be able to give him a similar run just behind the pace. Alex Wong Yu-on-trained Flying Smart, who has had an unusual training pattern - three sharp gallops in as many days and has come out of those well - will take plenty of catching from gate four and appeals as a strong double banker play with Shining Triumph. You can forgive his last run when sluggishly away and always wide from gate 10 in that Shining Triumph race. Alex Lai Hoi-wing has a better draw as he takes over from Alvin Ng Ka-chun.
Sky Mascot revels on this surface and is the other main contender with 114 pounds on his back, while Perfect Fit (Matthew Chadwick) returns to his pet course and distance, and Fatboy Sugar (Zac Purton) is entitled to another chance after a tough run last time.
Players might want to include Master Touch, who has had only three runs for David Hall and showed he is ready to improve with an eye-catching seventh at the Valley last time and a nice trial since.
In the middle leg, the 18 Districts Cup (1,400m), it's hard to go past last-start course-and-distance winner John Dory as a banker. The three-year-old has been progressing nicely, broke through to win after a perfect Whyte ride last start and should get a similar run.
Another last-start dirt winner, Rumba King, can handle the extra 200m and is well drawn in gate three. He copped eight pounds for his last-start win after a tough run on the dirt, but drops sharply in the weights with Ng's 10-pound allowance.
Other worthy inclusions are Lucky Chevalier, Sea Prince, Clement Spirit, Sohna and Namjong Hunter.
The honest Pegasus Supreme looks a standout in the final leg, the Kowloon West Handicap (1,800m), despite drawing next to the river. The Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained four-year-old has been racing well on turf lately, even though his only win came on the all-weather.
Ng has showed good judgment on the speed and should be able to get Pegasus Supreme out of the gates and across to a good position with just 118 pounds in the saddle.
His biggest danger may come from the horse who beat him last time, Happy Cha Cha, who is not as well equipped to deal with a tricky gate himself and has a refrigerator to carry.
Champion Mount ran well in defeat to Happy Cha Cha at his first crack at this trip, while Watch First, Bullish Cash and Zephyrus look the other main chances.
Is the amount Friday's Triple Trio jackpot is expected to reach