Third run in and stretching out to the extended mile for the first time, the Derek Cruz-trained Heco Rider is the one to beat in a weakened Class Four and stands out as a banker in a jackpot-boosted Triple Trio at Happy Valley tomorrow night.
Heco Rider broke through at his third start last season, and looks to have found the right race to replicate that effort in the middle pin of the TT, which carries a HK$6.7 million jackpot.
Brett Prebble has taken a keen interest in Heco Rider of late and will ride again tomorrow, at a course and distance it seems is made to order for the backmarker.
Heco Rider was chasing Happy Era home into fourth last time and there's nowhere near that quality of horse running around here.
From gate four Prebble gets the gun run, and he should get a solid enough speed with the talented Fortune Bravo (Andreas Suborics) forced to hunt forward from barrier 10, with more pace drawn in gate nine with Tom's Eighth (Umberto Rispoli).
Home With Glory (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) will have the flashing light on courtesy of the stable change from Andy Leung Ting-wah to Peter Ng Bik-kuen and seems set to jump in grade.
Riyadh (Gerald Mosse) trialled well at the track and looks above Class Four quality, while Hong Kong Fat (Weichong Marwing) will get the soft run from barrier two.
In the opening leg, if Capital K (Marwing) can replicate the rating of his lung-busting last-start effort, then he will be hard to hold out in another weak Class Four.
Ben So Tik-hung was stuck three deep with no cover and chasing on the four-year-old last start, but Capital K kept on giving and was beaten just two lengths into fourth.
That was first-up and first time down in Class Four - from gate four, anything like cover should suffice for the gelding to crack it for his first win.
Golden Harvest (Rispoli) has battled leg problems to get to the track, but made an impressive debut when fifth over 1,000m. The extra distance will suit and he has drawn well in two.
Look out for Benefactor (Prebble) as he drops in grade and is a chance of sneaking a soft lead. The other options are Oyster (Douglas Whyte), Bless Us All (Derek Leung Ka-chun) and El Grande (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu).
The owners of Capital K also have a chance in the final leg with Mighty K (Tye Angland), who only copped five points for a decent front-running win last start and could have some upside.
He will be rolling along in front with another chance, Zachary (Zac Purton), nearby.
The one to bank, though, is Forgive And Forget (Tim Clark) - although punters will have to do as his name suggests when looking at his recent runs.
The Michael Chang Chun-wai-trained five-year-old has gone around at odds of 5.8, 3.3 and 3.9 at his three runs - the last two as top pick, and has struck a combinations of bad draws, bad rides and plain bad luck. The genuine speed and barrier two ensure he is chiming into this race when it matters.
There's not much else to get excited about, but if you want to risk him from barrier 12, Mega Champion (Prebble) is worth consideration.
Read Michael Cox’s blog – Great racetrack rivalry – Glorious Days vs Ambitious Dragon.
Go to: http://www.scmp.com/author/michael-cox-0