IRISH import Lucky Clover ran on very late at his last start when finishing third behind runaway winner Fortune Ride but he looks ideal banker material for Double Trio punters at tomorrow's big Sha Tin meeting.
The Sandberg Gold Cup is the first leg of the popular bet and the Class Three fourth event on the nine-race card has attracted a full field of 14 but the banker selection is the Peter Ng Bik-kuen topweight.
Danny Lee takes over from Jackie C. K. Tse having had to give up the ride last time when indisposed and Lucky Clover should be very firmly in the action at the end of this 1,600-metre event.
Lucky Clover almost got away with a 1,400-metre race at big odds on his previous start and there was solid support for him over the mile last time but he was so far out of his ground early against the front-running Fortune Ride that winning was an impossibility.
The winner looks a very useful type and the manner in which Lucky Clover came home simply suggested that he had been left too much to do.
Assuming he has taken no harm from the run, then he could be expected to be closer to the pace today and in a position to issue a serious challenge.
His fast-finishing, lunging-on-the-line second to Tim's Joy over 1,400 metres showed he has what it takes and that was confirmed last time. He has reasonable Irish form, with his best effort a fourth to the Dermot Weld-trained Sharp Review at Leopardstownon the sort of fast ground he is sure to get tomorrow. Sharp Review, who has been involved in Group One events, earned a rating of just under 100 so Lucky Clover's best effort last Irish season was a commendable one.
But Lucky Clover won't have it all his own way with a couple of other excellent performers involved here.
Tony Cruz, champion jockey in all but name as the meetings tick away, is the latest rider for Ivan Allan's surprise package of the season, So Easy.
The rising star ran excellently behind stablemate Wonderful Moment in the Happy Valley Vase at his last start and is showing the benefit of solid racing experience. He is a course and distance winner twice and is well up to making it three over this trip.
Our Pal and Declan Murphy are coming back to 1,600 metres having always looked that bit stronger over 1,800 metres and it may just find them out although the Bakharoff gelding will be coming home solidly.
Trainer David Hill's Lionheart ran a shade disappointingly last time following a good first-up run but may now be at peak fitness level for the first time this season. Although there may be a slight question mark after that last start effort, he must be included.
A Class Four, 1,800-metre event is the second leg of the Double Trio and Club jockey John Marshall looks the answer here with the David Oughton-trained Farishta.
Course and distance last time they came home strongly to take second place behind runaway winner Lucky Treasure. And Farishta gave the distinct impression that he would derive benefit from the run as it had been his first start after a break.
This does not look a very strong field and trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee has had no hesitation pitching in William's Tact following the recent classification of the griffin.
In Class Four the youngster does look reasonably well placed but is stepping up fairly sharply having won, much as he pleased, over 1,400 metres in juvenile company last time.
Oriental Oilfield, who is not a robust type, will appreciate the 10 pounds off his back from maximum claimer K. S. Lam and if the lad can steer him round he could run on into a place. The trip is right as is the weight.
Topweight Royal Class, with claimer Raymond S. M. Tam up, is also one to consider. He ran fairly well over much longer last time but has solid form at the trip and is the only Class Three galloper in the field.