Dual bankers in first leg key to jackpot
Double banking with promising Solar Great and consistent Lucky Nistelrooy in the first leg of Sunday's Triple Trio can help punters unearth an expected mammoth payout of up to HK$23 million at Sha Tin.
A tantalising HK$14.8 million jackpot jumps into the TT pool, but it looks a hard one to nail with the final two legs providing more questions than answers.
Banking with a couple of well drawn, solid types in the opener, a Class Four over 1,400m, can at least provide some flexibility late.
Solar Great is a still green four-year-old from the Almond Lee camp open to plenty of improvement off a 11/4-length last-start victory over 1,200m at Sha Tin, his third run after two solid place efforts.
After settling worse than midfield in his win, Zac Purton pulled wide in the straight and Solar Great asserted his authority, galloping away in a raw manner which suggested a further refinement of his action could add a length or two. Purton again rides and this time gets barrier five, from where he should find cover in behind an expected genuine speed.
Lucky Nistelrooy has drawn even better in three, from where he should get a better ride from Mathew Chadwick than the three-deep, no-cover effort from Maxime Guyon last time out. The Tony Millard-trained five-year-old hasn't finished worse than fourth in his last eight starts and has won twice in that span over 1,400m.
Right Timing can be given another chance, despite disappointing as favourite last start. Also include improving Theheroinmyheart.
Trainer David Hall provides the best banker options in the final two legs, with Nicholson standing out in the middle pin.
The only concern for Nicholson and a couple of other fancies is the noticeable lack of speed. Nicholson had been screaming for a mile and got it last start, breaking through with a 13/4-length win.
From gate 12, Brett Prebble will have his work cut out on the four-year-old, but expect him to be in the finish. In a race which could produce an upset, include Silver Dragon - courtesy of drawing one - and Common Goal - who has produced better-than-face-value efforts his last two times out.
Options are John Moore's likely improver Our Dynasty (Darren Beadman) and Super Team (Keith Yeung Ming-lung).
Hall's big backmarker Summer Dash (Prebble) should appreciate the step up to 2,000m and the wide-open expanses of Sha Tin in the final leg, a Class Three.
The five-year-old depends on early speed in a race, but can unleash with a powerful sprint when given space. He is yet to win in Hong Kong, but the last of his three wins in Australia was over 1,800m and the gelding started favourite in a high-quality Group Three over 2,200m.
The track and distance will bring out the best in Summer Dash, but the same could be said for Burgundy Mac (Mark du Plessis), who would have won last start if not for a bump just after the home turn.
The Tony Cruz-trained Let's Goal (Chadwick) takes a step up in distance after a run-on second over the Sha Tin mile. His tactical speed will help take a handy position from gate five.
Flying Chaparral (Douglas Whyte) is another at the trip for the first time, but settles well and has a half-sister racing in Australia with strong form over similar distances. Others to consider are Sounds Excellent (Mickael Barzalona) and last-start winner Wrath Of Fire (Yeung).