Lucky Together ticks all the right boxes
The Caspar Fownes-trained Lucky Together is the best banking option in a tough Triple Trio at Sha Tin on Sunday, bolstered by the biggest jackpot of the season.
With HK$26 million already sitting in the pool - and a tricky Class Five to open proceedings - officials have predicted a HK$36 million dividend.
Zeroing in on a couple of runners in the latter two legs can allow players to save selections and stay alive through an impossible-looking first leg.
Start with Lucky Together in the middle pin, a skinny Class Four over 1,200m, forgiving his last-start fifth up the straight and counting on the three-year-old to have progressed through two more trials.
Since bungling the start, then overracing slightly on October 16, Fownes has given the slightly built sprinter a couple of jump-outs which have hopefully refined his keen racing manners and given him a fitness edge. Tye Angland replaces Vincent Ho Chak-yiu and, from barrier seven, should be able to lead in a race without much speed.
John Size has resorted to blinkers to get the best out of Delish, who drops back to the distance at which he produced his best run of the term - a second at the season-opening meeting. Darren Beadman replaces the suspended Douglas Whyte and has drawn gate two. Consider him as second banker as he cruises just off the moderate speed.
Others to throw in are first-starter Diamond Agate (Greg Cheyne), in-form Sunshine Boy (Ben So Tik-hung) and Happy Ball (Derek Leung Ka-chun).
In the final leg, bank on Danny Shum Chap-shing's Good Hong Kong to appreciate the step up to 1,400m in a Class Four.
The three-year-old was a surprising second on debut at Happy Valley and a meritorious fifth as short-priced favourite at the same track.
Now on the bigger course, he can wind up late over the extra 200m, with Zac Purton replacing Beadman in the saddle, who is obliged to take the ride on Craig's Pride for boss John Moore.
Craig's Pride looms as a threat, having surged home at the end of 1,200m contest at 62-1 odds on debut. The other two to put in are 1,300-pound gelding Dr Super (Angland), who will have benefitted from his debut run and the step up in distance, and the David Hall-trained Medallist - who was fourth in a rich, restricted race three weeks ago.
Keep a big watch on Kensworth Kid (Tim Clark) as he trialled well pre-debut, but may have found the 1,000m too sharp.
Surviving the opening leg will be more than half the battle as banking any Class Five horse is enough to test the nerves and they're in the grade for a reason.
Winning Mascot (Gerald Mosse) and Mister Horse (Ho) are at least two with possible upside and have decent form. They are the best banking options, with Beautiful Choice (Beadman), Danesouth (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) and Classa (So) the next best among an even bunch of place hopes.