Let Me Fight to show his prowess
He has just one local victory and has been maligned even by those close to him as lacking a competitive will, but Let Me Fight gets his opportunity to prove his doubters wrong in the Happy Valley Trophy (1,200m) tonight.
With almost HK$4.5 million banked and excellent performances against the best, Let Me Fight (Jeff Lloyd) should be a bright star in the John Moore stable. But the four-year-old has not delivered what was expected and even his trainer has branded him as not genuine.
The booking of Lloyd instead of stable rider Darren Beadman is no surprise, either, as Beadman feels Let Me Fight doesn't want to fight at all. Well, this is the gelding's chance to change that mantra, with a drop in class, a drop back to what has looked to be his best distance and gate one on the 'C' course all factors in his favour.
That Let Me Fight rose from a debut rating of 77 to his 111 tells you he has ability, but one possible blind alley down which Let Me Fight's career got lost is that his only win, an impressive Class Two, came over 1,400m. As a result, there has been a tendency to think 1,400m and even 1,600m were ideal trips, and Let Me Fight has perpetuated that by running creditably over them. Winning Group races is no pushover but, over longer, Let Me Fight's prospects have also been hampered by overracing - an indication he might be better over shorter and that is backed by his sprint efforts.
Since his fourth in the 2010 Hong Kong Sprint, Let Me Fight's efforts at 1,200m or less have been third in the Chairman's Sprint, third in the Sha Tin Sprint Trophy in October, a close-up sixth in the Premier Bowl and sixth, three lengths away in the Jockey Club Sprint.
Any of those is good enough to think that dropping back to Class One should see him competitive and he maps to get the perfect run behind good speed in Blaze King, At Moment In Time and Horse Galore.
You have to turn the clock back for his main danger, Tai Sing Yeh (Gerald Mosse), who has not won since scrambling home in this race last year but, since joining Richard Gibson, his runs at Sha Tin have been solid.