Jewellery set to sparkle for fans
After a horror last-start run, all it will take is even luck for Classic Jewellery to return to the winner's stall and anchor selections as a banker in the final leg of Sunday's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
The John Size-trained three-year-old will head out for his third start as a likely short-priced top pick at his second try at a Class Three and first time over the mile.
The son of O'Reilly was beaten as 1.4 favourite last time out, but there were considerable excuses and, with Douglas Whyte to steer from gate seven, he should dispatch a moderate field.
Last time over 1,400m, Whyte bounced across from gate 10, planning to sit outside the lead, but when the horse he was tracking did not find the front or the fence, he was left three wide facing the breeze the entire trip. Classic Jewellery still had the temerity to dig in and challenge, showing a nice turn of foot to hit the front midway up the straight, but he had done too much work and faded back through the field.
He has since had a 'typical Size' trial, with the fluent mover allowed to float around midfield and finish off a 1,200m dirt spin strongly.
Previous to his last-start failure the horse was withdrawn from a start with mucopus issues, after he had staged a four-length demolition of a restricted field over 1,200m on debut. The 11-horse field was limited to horses of his own age, but the smooth style spoke of a galloper with untapped potential.
Again he lines up in an 11-horse field and he should be too good, although Winning Apex (Olivier Doleuze) will appreciate gate one. His maiden win and two runner-up efforts in New Zealand came over this mile trip.
Dennis Yip Chor-hong goes back to the 10-pound claim of Alvin Ng Ka-chun on Jimson The Best. He looms as the likely pace-setter and could stick on for a place.
Blessing (Andreas Suborics) has raced without luck and a truly-run race would help him from gate four, while keep a close watch Shifachi Tradition (Umberto Rispoli), who has put in some game efforts since moving to Richard Gibson.
The opening leg seems bereft of any reliable bankers, but a decent draw for the David Hall-trained Tarrega and the return of Brett Prebble create some appeal as he steps back up to 1,400m.
The best of the burly four-year-old's three runs was over the same trip with Prebble aboard, and the gelding has dropped an encouraging 18 pounds since his last run. Almond Lee's Classic Figure (Zac Purton) comes into the bottom of Class Four after a break-out effort in the cellar grade. Pacifiers and a hood seemed to have a positive effect as he jumped from gate 14 and found the rail in front. This time he can be handy from barrier two without so much early effort.
Peter Ng Bik-kuen has moved to blinkers on Spicy Siam (Derek Leung Ka-chun) and dropped the youngster back from the mile - he could bob up in the frame.
Also consider Super Caga (Gerald Mosse), although he will be battling from gate 12 with the rail in the 'C+3' position.
In the middle pin on the all-weather track, play as wide as possible. Chances include City Delight (Leung), after a smart debut on the surface, Turin Champion (Doleuze), Darpana (Whyte), Lucky Boy (Prebble) and Fiery Raider (Mosse).