Low draw is blessing for tough easy Gold
Easy Gold has already won four races for Richard Gibson and another victory seems within reach tomorrow night in the middle leg of the Triple Trio at Happy Valley, as the resurgent galloper gets the benefit of a still-generous handicap and barrier three.
After starting the season on 23, Easy Gold's four wins took him to a rating of 52, the same mark he started off as a private purchase griffin at the start of last term, and he added another one-point increase when he was a credible second last start over the course and distance.
With the rail in the tricky 'C' position, the low draw is a blessing for Olivier Doleuze. He can position the five-year-old where he wants in the run, and even though 125 pounds is starting to slow the horse's finishing burst, he still seems to have upside.
Also drawn well in one and with claims is Lord Dragon, with trainer Caspar Fownes calling upon Darren Beadman in the absence of injured rider Brett Prebble.
His first two runs, both seconds, over 1,200m and then 1,400m, indicate a mile will be to his liking. Last start he was three wide and midfield from gate eight. This time the draw ensures he will be ready to strike, even with the suspect speed.
The tough last-start run by Magnanimous (Derek Leung Ka-chun) puts him into calculations, although it seems the six-year-old will be forever facing lameness issues.
Another option is Gracytom (Jackie Tong Chi-kit), who was running on last time out and has drawn in four.
The first leg is a Class Four over 1,650m and the consistent Bumper Strike (Douglas Whyte) get his chance from a better draw after being forced to work hard from wide starting points at recent outings.
Bumper Strike has finished in the top three in his last four races, all over Happy Valley's extended mile, and is the sort of spirited performer that makes a perfect banker.
Mochi (Zac Purton) seems to have at least another Class Four win in him and Peter Ho Leung has removed the blinkers after the four-year-old was too keen last start. This run-on type will benefit from what looks like a good speed as Purton should be able to slide into the two-wide line and get some cover.
Gold Winner (Jacky Tong Chi-Kit) has been hampered by bad barriers at his last two starts and the distance is a query, but he has produced some good runs and could place.
The race has a skinny tail, with Toy Story (Matthew Chadwick), Joyful Winner II (Leung) and Top Dragon (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) all options outside of the top three.
The final leg sees last-start winner Legendary Dragon (Neil Callan) drawn one and looks an obvious banker in a Class Three handicap (1,200m).
Speaking after his breakthrough win, trainer Ricky Yiu Poon-fai and Callan were both in raptures about the gelding's 'colt like' attitude and believed there were more wins in store for him.
The four-year-old seems like a Happy Valley specialist in the making and will get the perfect run in a race almost guaranteed to be run at a solid clip with the presence of Loads Of Joy and Bould Mover.
Another last-start winner drawn low is Mr Vigorous (Ben So Tik-hung), who goes up six points for his success. A record of four wins from 28 starts indicates a horse that doesn't win out of turn, but a strong course-and-distance record make him impossible to ignore.
Moneymaker (Whyte) appreciated a return to the Valley seven days ago when he was second behind Legendary Dragon. Maybe something clicked with the four-year-old and he should be included.
Smart Kids (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) has been crying out for some luck in his races and he gets a chance to put himself in a contest from a good draw.
The winning strike rate for Richard Gibson and Olivier Doleuze, who have combined 66 times