All eyes on young guns in final leg
Punters have a modest HK$4 million Triple Trio to play for at Happy Valley's final meeting of the season, but the final leg should make things easier with a showdown between lightly raced gallopers Carry The Zeal and Time After Time.
The young sprinters look a double banker standout in the sixth race, with Time After Time (Darren Beadman) hoping to put some unlucky efforts behind him and enhance trainer John Moore's championship hopes, and Carry The Zeal (Brett Prebble) looking to take full advantage of a kinder barrier draw.
Resuming from a short break, Carry The Zeal's prospects behind Shahjee last time were severely hampered by having to go back in the field from gate 11, but he rattled to the line late for an eye-catching fourth. This time he should be better placed from gate four.
Time After Time's problem was quite the opposite last time out, surging forward but stuck off the track behind Eternal Beauty over 1,000m, and it was one in a series of unlucky circumstances, but he will be better suited if Beadman can give him time to find his feet early.
Others who will have support as place players are Groovy, Super Plus, Fortune General and Bet On Me.
In the middle leg, lightly raced Speechmaker (Jeff Lloyd) has more upside to him than many of his rivals after three starts and he looks a banker candidate stepping up in distance.
Speechmaker has performed well at unsuitably short trips, with a Sha Tin third over 1,200m on debut and a solid effort last time over the same trip at the Valley. Caught wide throughout in the race won by Shahjee, Speechmaker stuck on well to be beaten just over two lengths. His form in Ireland was up to 2,000m so the extended mile is going to be just the ticket.
In what is not an overstrong affair, his danger looks Caspar Fownes' Perfect Sprint (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu), who raced well behind Euro Swiftly last time at this course after a close fourth to Sunrise (Weichong Marwing), who also looks a player again.
Others to include are My Mate Adric, My Goal, Very Well and Elephant Cheers, and look for improvement at longer odds from Mark Good, who has a light weight, good draw and side winkers going on for the first time.
In the opening leg, the championship team in waiting, Douglas Whyte and Tony Cruz, will team up with Super Genki and they have been deadly on those odd occasions they have joined forces this season.
Whyte has never ridden the quirky Super Genki, but he has found him at an opportune moment, with the gelding in good form and in a race with plenty of speed.
Billion, Bumper Strike, Juggernaut and Benefactor are all likely to roll forward early and provide Super Genki with the tempo he likes.
There was nothing wrong with his last start behind Magnanimous when the pace wasn't on his side and he looks the one to beat.
Yuan's Fortune (Jeff Lloyd) is another in-form horse who will appreciate a good pace, and players will want to include Fortune Six, Hero And Gold and Home With Glory in their combinations.
Carry The Zeal unleashed a swift final 400m last time after jumping from gate 11