Freshened-up Mochi can turn on the jets
Peter Ho Leung is enjoying his best season in almost a decade and the canny handler could spring a surprise win in the Sauternes Cup (1,200m) at Happy Valley tonight with handy four-year-old Mochi.
With 28 wins on the board, Ho isn't likely to threaten his career-best 42 wins in 1998-99, but his stable has been firing consistently through much of the term.
Mochi (Ben So Tik-hung) is recognised more readily for his efforts over a little further than the 1,200m trip, with his previous wins coming at the Sha Tin 1,400m and 1,650m at his last start in February at the Valley.
However, Mochi has caught the eye over 1,200m in the past, reeling off a 22.62 second final 400m as a fast-finishing fourth when he most recently tackled the Valley 1,200m in December.
That was in Class Four, as were both his victories, so the gelding faces a class rise as well as coming off a 10-week break. However, the first of those factors sees him with a big drop in the weights and the latter sees him coming in fresh to offset the drop in distance.
There is an abundance of speed with Dr Super, Vintage Hussler, Benefactor (Mark du Plessis), Lucky Turbo all possible leaders and horses like Shahjee, Danewin Winning and Perfect Gear are pace influences as well if used early. That sets the event up for a strong finisher and that's where Mochi maps, coming out of gate 11 with no options but to sit back and wait for the speedsters to carve each other up.
Two other runners which will benefit from the tempo are Sea The Pearls (Alvin Ng Ka-chun) and Kick Serve (Douglas Whyte) and they look real dangers.
Sea The Pearls has yet to win but his better runs have been over the Valley 1,200m, including a solid second to Master Rio coming off a short break last week.
Kick Serve has been running consistently, most recently from wider gates. His best efforts have been at 1,650m, but he has looked capable of winning at the shorter trip with the right run and that should come his way from barrier two this time.