Plenty of Fortune awaits TT punters
Douglas Whyte got the desired result when he hopped aboard Fortune Together last start and the champion jockey can combine with the Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained galloper to make back-to-back wins in the first leg of tomorrow night's Triple Trio - which is expected to reach HK$9 million - at Happy Valley.
The four-year-old Fortune Together hadn't won in 14 tries, but the South African hoop's silky touch and tactical nous made barrier 12 look like a blessing.
Whyte decided to ride the gelding cold last time out over this distance and Fortune Together responded with a career-best performance under a light weight.
He cops a nine-pound rise in the handicaps, but the style of that 11/4-length victory suggests there was something in hand. From barrier seven, if Whyte can get anything like genuine tempo he should be right in the finish, but the horse's ability to take a handy position early is a plus.
Secret Of Winning and Gold Winner should provide some speed.
Drawn best to take advantage of a truly-run race might be Chater Power in barrier two. The eight-year-old has his critics, and fair enough too - he has won twice in 49 starts - but he was an impressive winner when resuming over this course and has had excuses his last two starts.
First he was trapped three wide on the speed, before again being used up early on the dirt at Sha Tin. From his draw he can sit, wait and have something in store come the straight.
The Tony Cruz-trained Regency Champion is a half-brother to stablemate Penglai Xianzi on debut. He comes in with two above average Hong Kong trials and another in New Zealand. Barrier nine is a worry, but he seems a likely type to progress off his starting mark of 52.
Another couple of in-form horses drawn wide are back-to-back winner Lucky Tycoon (11) and True Valour (10) - they both should be included as hopes, despite their big weights and tough starting positions.
The middle pin seems the hardest to negotiate, with a host of winning chances in a Class Four Handicap (1,800m).
There's some in-form veterans lining up, but a relative newcomer at his first try over the trip appeals as the top selection.
The Caspar Fownes-trained Spandau Ballet's best two performances of four starts have been over Happy Valley's extended mile. He won narrowly late last season and was runner-up when resuming late last month, where he picked up the bit and charged in the last 100m with the look of a horse begging for further.
Drawn low, in barriers one and two, are a couple of eight-year-olds who seem to be reclaiming their best and deserve strong consideration - Young Hero (two) and Juggernaut (one).
Others to consider are Goldmen Y Y, Stolen Thunder and Billion - he could get a soft time of it in front.
Zippy sprinter Aeroso is likely to go around favourite in the final leg, a Class Three over 1,200m. The Manfred Man Ka-leung-trained four-year-old won on debut last season. He resumed this season with a third from a wide draw behind King Mossman and Bear Hero, before a decent runner-up effort after being pestered in front at the Valley.
The only danger is that he could get carved up again in front - this time the nuisance value coming from the one-dimensional Loads Of Joy.
If the pace does turn suicidal - look for Star Of Fame to be chiming in after two fantastic run-on efforts. Brett Prebble jumps on board and has drawn nicely in four.
Master Gunner has claims as does Xilai Xianzi. A couple of place dangers at odds are Mr Vigorous and Ocean Wide.
The estimated payout, for a $10 bet, for tomorrow night's Triple Trio