Young Enabling has found the right race
Inexperienced John Size-trained Enabling can provide a banker in the tough middle leg of the Triple Trio at Happy Valley tomorrow night with a potential dividend of HK$18 million on the line.
The prize pool includes a HK$12 million plus jackpot and another unclaimed TT would not surprise with three open races to sort through.
Enabling was a surprise Class Three winner last time out at start number four, with the step up to 1,800m being key. This time, over the same trip and still in the same grade, the three-year-old stayer faces a field containing three other last-start winners, all of whom have claims of their own.
What makes Enabling appealing is his upside. The son of High Chaparral is still three, has growing to do and is in good hands with the master trainer.
After Enabling's maiden win, Size lamented a lack of options for his talented youngster, but he seems to have found the right race. First time at the tighter city track is a concern, but he has drawn well (five) for Mark du Plessis to get the right run in a race which should be contested at a genuine clip.
Of the other horses with a '1' next to their name, Fortune Winner will be the one in the firing line. Trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai beat the handicapper when he raced the six-year-old twice within four days for back-to-back Class Four wins, but he now pays the price with a 14-point leap straight into the top half of Class Three.
Zac Purton reclaims the ride on a horse who has won in this class - over this course and distance - albeit as a 100-1 shot.
The other two last-start victors - Victory Mascot and Nordic Star - have drawn off the rack in 10 and 11 respectively. They both get back anyway, but the starting positions won't help their cause. They were impressive enough last time out to include again.
The knockout place dangers are Ho Ho Life, Owners' Glory and Vilasol.
Barrier one and last Saturday's barrier trial blow-out bring the Caspar Fownes-trained Ride On The Fire into calculations for the opening leg, a Class Four handicap (1,200m).
Ride On The Fire was third on the dirt at Sha Tin earlier in the season and his condition seemed to give out at the end of 1,000m when sixth last start at Happy Valley. Since then Fownes has taken an unorthodox route, sending the four-year-old around in a 1,700m trial at the city course, Vincent Ho Chak-yiu making the gelding work hard out in front. Ride On The Fire weighs in at over 1,100 pounds and taking the gross type out of his comfort zone will have knocked him into shape and may help him settle in front.
Ho won't get too much peace leading, with some aggressive front-runners drawn outside, but he can be considered as a banker. If the pace does go on, that brings last-start winner Sammy's Falcon right into play.
The Andreas Schutz-trained Sammy's Falcon isn't hard to recognise with his distinctive markings: his white socks that extend beyond the knees make him look like something out of a old-style western film. He'll be even easier to spot when he jumps from the extreme outside gate 12, with Tye Angland again to ride.
His impressive last-start victory seemed to indicate there was something in hand, but a hefty eight-point rise and the awkward draw make it tough. He'll be back worse than midfield and, if he can get cover, expect him to be charging into contention.
Shibala is another whose fitness may be coming closer to a peak and Par Excellence is a place hope.
The final leg looks toughest, a Class Three over 1,650m. An inside draw gives the Peter Ho Leung- trained Noble Deluxe a big push, allowing Ben So Tik-hung to get the plum run. The four-year-old has some early speed and he can stay handy on the rails until they swing and then swoop.
My Goal should get across and lead and can be considered, if he can pinch cheap sectionals up front.
Throw in last-start winner Regency Winner. Consider as place chances Arion Of Chiu Ton, Joyful Winner II and Sleep Well at big odds.
The amount, in HK dollars, which the dividend in tomorrow night's Triple Trio is expected to reach