Cool Bean looks a rock-solid banker
With a HK$1.8 million jackpot jumping into the Triple Trio pool at Sha Tin on Monday, the Derek Cruz-trained three-year-old Cool Bean can take advantage of another good barrier and provide a solid banker in the final leg.
The New Zealand-bred youngster took some solid trial form into his first two starts and ran accordingly - stringing together a couple of eye-catching performances behind a pair of handy types at Sha Tin under Tye Angland, who rides again this time.
First time out over 1,200m, he was working into the contest nicely for third, behind dominant Cosmic Boom, who has gone on with it, before a much-needed step up to 1,400m produced further improvement and a second behind another promising John Moore-trained newcomer Craig's Pride.
The succession of good draws has continued as he returns to 1,400m again - Cool Bean has jumped from gates two and five in his first two starts - and this time gets barrier two again. From there Angland can give the gelding a great cuddle ride with cover.
If looking for a second banker, try the David Ferraris-trained Theheroinmyheart (Tim Clark). He's no world-beater, but looks like he will crack it for a result in this grade soon enough, and it will probably happen over this course and distance. After five starts, it seems 1,400m is the son of Viking Ruler's best trip. At his last start blinkers added some sharpness and brought about some improvement and he can be chiming in again.
Others to throw into the mix are Meridian Treasure, helped again by Alvin Ng Ka-chun's 10-pound relief, Scent Of Osmanthus (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) and John Dory (Derek Leung Ka-chun), who is reaching his peak at the top of Class Four after back-to-back wins, but is still the sort of horse that can stick around for a place, especially from gate three.
The Class Four up the straight 1,000m course opens the TT, and it might pay to play wide and not risk a banker.
Peter Ng Bik-kuen's Expedience (Cheng) backed up his strong trial performances when runner-up to Sterling City on debut over the course and distance, and seems the likely top pick.
Beauty King (Olivier Doleuze) isn't far away from a maiden for trainer Richard Gibson, who has dropped back to the straight after a couple of tries over 1,200m, where he has started favourite both times. First time he was upset by subsequent winner Simple and the next he was a flat fifth.
His 1,000m runs were his best and a nice dirt trial sans side winkers and in a shadow roll, the same gear he wears this time, add some confidence to his case.
Douglas Whyte has chosen to ride All Delight for Me Tsui Yu-sak over the John Size-trained Croesus, with the four-year-old hopefully recovered from the bleeding issues which stopped him on debut in January.
Since then he has trialled well and some strong workouts under Whyte indicate an improved showing, should he overcome the internal problems.
Croesus (Ben So Tik-hung) should be included, despite drawing the wrong side of the track in two, as should City Delight (Andreas Suborics).
The Class Four (1,800m) middle pin provides the toughest test for punters, and nothing appeals as a stand-out.
Telecom Supremo (Eddie Lai Wai-ming) and Glory Of India (Jeff Lloyd) come out of the same Happy Valley race where they ran one-two and should be included.
Whyte has jumped on Euphemism at the right time, but was dealt a blow when he drew 14, damaging for a horse that is best ridden close.
Mount Victory (Leung) has been costly, he has started favourite now five times, with just one placing among those efforts, but he should be marked down on tickets.
The winning strike rate for Derek Cruz and Tye Angland, who have partnered 18 times this term