Sichuan Exec is a hot pick for Triple Trio
Promising three-year-old has the necessary class edge to dispatch a moderate field and help premier stable back to the winners' list
John Size is enduring a lean trot, at least by his own lofty standards, but the last horse to triumph from the yard - Sichuan Exec - stands out as a banker in the first leg of tomorrow's Triple Trio at Sha Tin and can return the premier stable to the winners' list.
Since Sichuan Exec won on Audemars Piguet QE II Cup day (April 28), Size hasn't had a winner in the following three meetings and just three of his last 46 starters have saluted. In that time he has relinquished his trainers' championship lead to the in-form Dennis Yip Chor-hong, but Sichuan Exec looks to have the necessary class edge to dispatch a moderate Class Four field, even with a few factors against him.
Sichuan Exec, a 2012 Hong Kong International Sale graduate that was given much-needed time to develop by Size, won impressively on debut - overcoming a tough run but still looking like he had something in hand at the finish. Douglas Whyte, who rides again, was stuck three and four deep with no cover for most of the 1,200m trip from gate eight on the three year-old, yet the son of Exceed And Excel still managed to put together strong finishing sectionals to win. He was given a few cuts of the whip by Whyte, but was doing it comfortably enough on the line as he held off consistent Class Four campaigner How Speedy.
Sichuan Exec copped eight points for his trouble and Size has chosen to step up to 1,400m. He carries equal top weight of 133 pounds, plus has drawn second widest in 13, but even with the negatives, the field he faces looks even weaker than last start and he could get a suitably strong tempo to run home off.
The hard-going Apollo Cavalier (Gerald Mosse) has drawn one, Dashing Fortune (Jackie Tong Chi-kit) from gate four and All The Winners (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) from gate seven are dedicated leaders, and throw in widely drawn Perfect Moment (Terry Wong Chi-wai) as a possible pace influence.
This is the first leg, so try and get a gauge on Apollo Cavalier's pre-race behaviour - if he stays calm and doesn't sweat up he is a possible option as a double banker. The Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained sprinter should win off his mark soon enough but has a tendency to ruin his races with his pig-headed antics in the parade ring.
Great Renown (Olivier Doleuze) drops into Class Four for the first time since the start of last season and can go in, while blinkers go on Fay Deep (Derek Leung Ka-chun) and Triumphant Way (Eddie Lai Wai-ming) has drawn low again.
In the final two legs, lean towards two John Moore-trained and Tommy Berry-ridden three-year-olds - Maroon Prince and Approve - with a class edge over their Class Four rivals. Both will have to overcome carrying big weights from wide draws, but the duo are also competing over their pet course and distance against moderate opposition.
Maroon Prince lines up in the middle pin over 1,200m on the dirt, coming off a strong runner-up effort over the course and distance, where he raced deep with no cover and was beaten less than a length by Sunshine Kid. Throw in Ambitious Glory (Alex Lai Hoi-wing), Expedite (Tong) and What A Heart (Keith Yeung Ming-lun).
In the final leg, take Approve from Life Of Beauty (Leung), Malayan Pearl (Whyte) and Sweet Corner (Zac Purton).
RACE 1: (4) General Danroad, (5) Happy Goal, (12) Hey Ha Master, (13) Petit Prince.
RACE 2: (2) Regency Champion, (4) Sunny Pearl, (6) My Favorite, (13) Mighty Equus.
RACE 3: (1) All My Kingdoms, (3) Lotus Love, (8) Spectacular Award, (11) Money Win Wins.
RACE 4: (2) Sichuan Exec, (6) Apollo Cavalier, (11) Great Pegasus, (13) Hong Kong Fat.
RACE 5: (4) Expedite, (5) Hi Molly, (6) Ambitious Glory, (11) China Angel.
RACE 6: (5) Sweet Corner, (7) Columbus Line, (9) Lucky Choice, (13) Life Of Beauty.
RACE 7: (2) Tarzan I Am, (5) Sparkling B, (12) Kids And Win, (14) Happy Ceramibo.
RACE 8: (2) Business As Usual, (5) Perfect Cheers, (6) Sea Diamond, (9) Familists.
RACE 9: (3) I Smell Money, (6) Uwillbeglorious, (7) Smiling Watch, (13) Cheers Joy.
RACE 10: (2) Gallant Triumph, (3) Lombardi, (11) Electronic Fortune, (14) Supreme Winner.