Quick back-up can do the trick for Potential
With an estimated HK$30 million on offer, followers can safely bank on match-fit six-year-old in the first leg of the TT
With a fitness edge due to a four-day back-up and dropping down to a nice draw, Potential can catch his Class Five rivals on the hop in the opening leg of a massive Happy Valley Triple Trio tomorrow night.
A HK$22 million jackpot sits waiting in the pool, creating an estimated HK$30 million dividend, and the Caspar Fownes-trained six-year-old, with apprentice Vincent Ho Chak-yiu aboard and taking five pounds off the back of the top weight, can get the cash over the extended mile.
Potential was a horse crying out for a drop in grade at the end of last term, but by the time he got there he was a tired horse and copped a couple of unsuitable draws at his less-preferred venue of Sha Tin.
A career record of one from 27 is nothing to boast about, but at least that solitary victory did come over the course and distance against better opposition, in Class Four in November last year.
The key here is Potential's recent workload, which should have him fit and primed over a distance where being in game shape will count against low-quality horses coming off a break.
Fownes gave Potential two weeks off during the off-season, but it has been the last two weeks - where he has given the gelding a proper tune-up - that will make the difference; firstly a searching 1,200m all-weather track trial on August 31 and then a perfect lead-up run on opening day.
Ho went back to last from gate 11 on Saturday, Potential travelling on the bridle throughout, and he was pulled widest after the turn and allowed to wind up down the long straight, making up good ground to finish seventh.
From gate four this time, he maps to get a much better run. All The Winners has drawn 10, and can go forward and Supreme Tycoon, after a stable change and with Brett Prebble aboard, can create the running too - include them both in case one or either lays up on a soft pace.
Others to consider are Sabina (Richard Fourie) and King Of Fish II (Alex Lai Hoi-wing).
The middle leg has a field of just 10, but the lack of numbers doesn't seem to have made finding the winner any easier, nor does the fact a few of these prefer further and are first up.
Compact Yarn is a tough and reasonably consistent individual - drawn in five, he will be handy all the way and looks a solid enough banker with Tye Angland aboard.
Douglas Whyte takes the ride on Ho Wongchoy and he looks an adaptable enough individual to be placed to advantage in the run, in a race where tactics will be key. A trial will have the Andreas Schutz-trained seven-year-old ready, and even though he has drawn eight, he goes in.
Goldmen Y Y (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) will get a long way back, but is one-for-one over the course and distance, scoring at the end of last term, while Pegasus Supreme (Zac Purton) and Happy Score (Keith Yeung Ming-lun) get low draws and need to be considered.
Fortune Winner (Jackie Tong Chi-kit) won first up over the course and distance early last season, and can produce a big and go in as a banker in the final leg .
He may not get his own way in front over 1,650m, with a couple of front-runners drawn wide and likely to try their luck surging forward, but drawn three, he will take some catching.
Mega Champion (Prebble) showed he could compete in Class Thee when runner-up at this course and distance at the end of last season and has to go in, while others to look for are Ottimo (Alvin Ng Ka-chun) and stablemates Dragon Fighter (Olivier Doleuze) and Great Renown (Whyte).