Twin Turbo can power home again
The penny dropped for Twin Turbo at his last start when he skipped away for a maiden win and he looks set to continue his progression through the grades in the middle leg of Sunday's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
After last weekend's monster TT jackpot was snapped up, punters start again with a particularly tough trio, and it would not surprise if it was left unclaimed.
Richard Gibson's Twin Turbo stands out as one of two possible bankers in a Class Four (1,400m) that lacks depth.
The four-year-old was transferred to Gibson from Me Tsui Yu-sak after four starts at big odds over sprint distances. Some experimentation with gear at the trials and a disappointing run on the dirt was followed by a smart 1 1/2-length win three weeks ago, with all head gear removed.
A jump of nine points takes the four-year-old to 53, only one more than where he started, and a mark he can compete at after showing some scope for improvement last time out.
Olivier Doleuze reunites with the gelding and, from gate four, should be able to slot into the same one-out, one-back position he found last time out.
The other banker is the John Size-trained G-One Winning, coming off a typically thorough trial preparation by his trainer.
Six trials here, after one in New Zealand, should see a bombproof competitor appear at the track. The three-year-old looks above average and his last trial seemed to indicate a readiness for 1,400m.
G-One Winning ambled away from the gates in his last trial, but motored home under Mark du Plessis. Douglas Whyte returns from suspension to take the ride from barrier 10.
When a horse with a record of five wins from 76 starts has won back-to-back races, expecting a third could be ambitious. But eight-year-old Sohna (Ben So Tik-hung) seems to have struck a suitably sub-par race, has drawn three and is not out of contention.
Kings Domain (Jeff Lloyd) produced an improved effort at his second start for Andreas Schutz, while Honey Fortune (Tye Angland) may strike now that he has fallen into Class Four.
In the opening leg, count on honest Nicholson to be running squarely into the top three in a Class Four over 1,800m. It's the David Hall-trained four-year-old's first time over the journey, but in his two strong runs over a mile (a win and a second), he looked like a horse that can run a trip.
Whyte will have to navigate from barrier nine, but the starting point for this distance at Sha Tin provides plenty of time to get across and find cover.
Trainer Peter Ho Leung has applied blinkers to Connoisseur's Pick (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) to coincide with a drop in class.
When the five-year-old dropped into this grade for the first time two starts back he produced a run-on second behind Nicholson.
Back up into Class Three, he was sent around on the dirt and suffered the required ratings drop to end up back in a winnable race.
Compact Yarn (Neil Callan) is in consistent form and will be thrust into the race from gate eight, while Kingston Spartacus (Zac Purton) is one to watch from a decent draw (five).
To survive through to the final leg will be some sort of achievement, but to collect the major prize, punters need to negotiate a Class Three over the extended dirt mile.
Surface-specialist Golden Treasure (Angland) will again start near the top of the market after drawing four, but he was disappointing last two times.
Include the John Moore-trained Our Dynasty (Darren Beadman), who has put in two improved runs since dropping to Class Four, including a good effort on the dirt.
Caspar Fownes has looked to the alternative surface as an option for Snitzel Kid (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) after a series of strong runs at Happy Valley.
Others to consider are Brilliant Chariot (Eddie Lai Wai-ming), courtesy of drawing one, and Gilded Flight (Du Plessis).