Punters in line for plenty of Treasure
You don't have to go digging too far in the dirt track form to find Golden Treasure, a dependable banker in an all-weather track first leg of Sunday's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
The Andreas Schutz-trained seven-year-old has always shown a liking to the alternate surface throughout a 42-start career, notching all four of his victories on Sha Tin's inner course.
Tim Clark replaces the suspended Tye Angland in the saddle for the Nathan Handicap (1,650m), part of a TT expected to pay HK$4 million courtesy of a HK$1.6 million jackpot.
Golden Treasure hasn't finished outside the top two this season in three all-weather starts and was beaten a whisker by stablemate Suisse D'Or last time around. Not only did Angland encounter traffic problems and it was on a day when it paid to be handy.
Back to a more suitable extended mile and drawn six in a race with speed, he can be counted on to run a place.
Gilded Flight will go forward from an ideal gate and gets his chance after three luckless runs. The Peter Ng Bik-kuen-trained gelding won over this course and distance last season for former handler Alex Wong Yu-on. Others to consider are Leo's Pride and Best Noodle. A spoiler at odds could be Star Son. The Michael Chang Chun-wai-trained six-year-old has gone around at more than 60-1 both starts this term, but drawn three with a light weight, he could get among it.
In the middle leg, a Class Three over 1,400m, half the field are out of their grade and will need to hit at least Class Four before they win a race.
Five of the 14 runners went around 99-1 or worse at their last start. The elimination of the out-of-form horses may narrow things down, but it's still hard to separate what's left.
The lack of speed throws another degree of difficulty into the contest, but gives Richard Gibson's New Glory more of an opportunity.
He was ridden back last start - his first time out for the Englishman - and stormed home over 1,200m like he was looking for the extra distance.
The six-year-old has an average overall record, but his best performances have come when racing handy, an attribute which will serve him well, especially with the rail in the 'C+3'.
John Moore gelded Elegance Klammer after seven unproductive runs and it should improve the three-year-old, who arrived off a Group Two second behind Frankel (beaten 10 lengths) and a Group Three win.
The David Hall-trained Danzulu will be high in the market with Douglas Whyte climbing aboard and a couple of sound run-on efforts which suggest he is due for a win.
Open Sesame and Viva Fighter come into consideration.
The final leg is a Class Four (1,400m) with some depth and quality. Four last-start winners line-up, but it's a last-start beaten favourite which should start top pick.
The John Size-trained Right Timing made a mess of the start when a $1.60 hot pot at Sha Tin two weekends ago. The blundered beginning didn't seem the result of any temperamental issues, but rather a one-off occurrence, and his effort after the mishap was sound.
He seems like another typical Size-trained progressive horse too good for Class Four and is a decent banking option.
A lack of speed could bring Shiny Day into the contest. He is in good form, but has drawn badly (12). Others with claims are Namjong Hunter, last-start winner Matsukaze, Divinity Power and Iron Hawk.
(2) Great Hero, (4) Storm's Destiny, (6) Grand General, (14) Racing Sport.
(1) Country Charm, (3) Beauty King, (5) Kensworth Kid, (8) Supreme Hong Kong.
(2) Rumba King, (5) Fiery Rider, (6) Quantum Express, (8) El Grande.
(1) Golden Treasure, (3) Delish, (5) Leo's Pride, (10) Gilded Flight.
(3) New Glory, (4) Open Sesame, (5) Danzulu, (10) Horseshoe Fortune.
(1) Iron Hawk, (4) Matsukaze, (5) Buddy Buddies, (7) Divinity Power.
(2) Happy Prestige, (3) The Wand, (8) Sea Prince, (11) Solar Up.
(1) Best Win, (3) Space Race, (5) Xi Ying Men, (14) Jade Christy.
(1) Military Move, (4) Just Fantastic, (8) Helene Spirit, (14) Endless Luck.
(2) Flying China, (6) Arion Of Chiu Ton, (7) Fortune Winner, (13) Jun Hua.