David Ferraris and Weichong Marwing could not hide their delight when the owner of Semos plucked gate three at yesterday's Hong Kong Derby barrier draw ceremony, but the pair would have been equally pleased to have been allotted gate two with Lucky Chevalier in the opening leg of the Triple Trio on Sunday.
Lucky Chevalier looks an ideal banker at his third start over the 1,400m course at Sha Tin, and the three-year-old is drawn to get another beautiful run in transit after only being bettered by Lucky Follow Me at his last start.
With a number of other obvious chances in the race drawn wider out, the inside draw for Marwing and the Lucky Owners gelding is even more advantageous.
The John Size-trained Dispatcher steps up in trip and will enjoy the extra distance, but must overcome gate 11, while the David Hall-trained Breeze Of Luck finds himself in a similar boat from gate 10 stepping up from his debut run over 1,000m.
Dispatcher had little luck when cluttered up on the rail at a crucial stage last start from his good draw, but the challenge for Douglas Whyte this time will be to keep him from being posted without cover from the wide alley.
Breeze Of Luck looked talented in his pre-debut barrier trials, but was slowly away on race-day and boxed on to the line over 1,000m as though he would appreciate more ground.
Last-start winner Polygold moves up in grade and sheds weight, but has also drawn awkwardly in gate nine after his 1?-length victory over this course on 14 days ago. He was able to overcome gate 10 on that occasion, but he enjoyed a hot early tempo that day and would need the same to happen if Howard Cheng Yue-tin wants to attempt to loop the field on him once again.
Michael Chang Chun-wai's galloper Super Horse makes appeal at his fourth start wearing blinkers for the first time as Olivier Doleuze will no doubt take closer order from a good draw in five than he was able to last time when he had to snag the horse to the rear from gate 13.
Doleuze should also play a key role in the final leg on Real Supreme - who also sports blinkers for the first time for trainer Peter Ng Bik-kuen.
Real Supreme was only narrowly held out last start when third behind Longwah Rising and Plentiful over this course, and two prior wins at 1,400m indicate that he will be hard to beat again from an excellent draw in barrier two.
Ng has kept Real Supreme at the 1,400m trip recently, after stepping him up to 1,800m earlier in the season, and the Flying Spur colt's last-start effort for third indicates the handicappers may not yet have got him pegged at his 72 rating, despite a climb of almost 20 points.
Double Dragon represents an ever-present danger, and his bold effort for fourth at good odds last start is likely to attract plenty of support.
With little weight to carry after Vincent Ho Chak-yiu's seven-pound claim, in-form trainer Dennis Yip Chor-hong is giving Double Dragon every chance of holding on to a top three place, and punters can make his honest galloper a dual banker with confidence.
Last-start winners Horseshoe Fortune and Win A Dozen, the lightly weighted Forest Star, and John Moore's Master Gunner are also worth including.
The middle leg is to be conducted over the Derby trip of 2,000m, and the Peter Ho Leung-trained Chantilly looks a good chance after a positive run for fourth over 1,800m last start with Doleuze in the irons.
The major negative for Chantilly is his starting position, and Doleuze will probably have to drop him out to the rear from gate nine - as has been his racing pattern anyway - and try to get a tag into the race on the home turn.