Holyangelholy can rise through grades
A bump at the jump proved a blessing for the enigmatic galloper and, with speed on, he should prove too good again in the first leg of the TT
Nearly getting flattened at the start and being stopped in his tracks may have been the best thing that happened to Holyangelholy last start, as it forced the four-year-old into a more relaxed racing pattern and left him in a perfect position to sprint home in a suitably fast-run event.
Holyangelholy had been disappointing from a purely on-paper performance stand-point - starting short in the market in each of his six previous starts. But after that confidence-building last-start win, it seems the gelding is now ready to do what John Size-trained horses regularly do: progress through the grades - starting with the opening leg of Sunday's Triple Trio at Sha Tin.
Six points for a three-quarter length win keeps Holyangelholy in Class Four. He has drawn barrier one and Douglas Whyte returns to the saddle, but what appeals most is the promise of another genuinely run race.
My Memory (Ben So Tik-hung) is back up in grade and, while he may struggle with that, he will still get out and run. Regency Champion (Matthew Chadwick) is a chance to come over and create pressure from barrier 10, and possibly first-starter Gratified (Olivier Doleuze), who travelled keen in his last trial, could get in the on-pace mix.
Sitting back at the tail is another backmarker waiting for the right race, the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained Why Not (Howard Cheng Yue-tin). He progressed through distances up to a mile in his first season, but there was nothing wrong with his first run over 1,200m on debut. After Alvin Ng Ka-chun fell off Why Not when he was resuming over 1,400m in September, that might also have been a blessing, as he now steps back in trip.
One to watch is John Moore's first-starter Hit A Home Run (Tim Clark). He has had limited exposure with just two trials, but he looks a real natural and has drawn ideally in four. It wouldn't surprise for him to run in the first three. Throw in Regency Champion from the on-pace brigade.
In the middle leg, bank on How Speedy (Richard Fourie) getting better luck from a wide gate this time round after he was stuck on a limb facing the breeze last start.
How Speedy was three-and-four deep with no cover but managed to stick on to finish second to subsequent Class Three winner Little Cow, and breeding suggests the step up to 1,400m suits.
Elegant Frames (Weichong Marwing) may have got the soft-as-butter run last time out, but there is no reason why he won't get something similar again from gate three, and he, too, will be suited by the extra ground third-up.
One Of A Kind (Whyte) has drawn one and must be included, while consideration should be given to last-start Class Five winner Able Magic (Derek Leung Ka-chun) and Winning Bear (Brett Prebble).
In the final leg, go without a banker and play narrow - but the Richard Gibson-trained Always Something (Olivier Doleuze) is an option as stand-out. He should win a race soon after finally finding his way back into Class Four.
King Haradasun (Whyte) looked disappointing on face value last start, but the progression to 1,600m at his third run in is what he needs and barrier six is not too bad.
Others to include are David Hall-trained Surrounded (Prebble), who continues to surprise but has again drawn wide, and Caspar Fownes' Blossom Daily, who was heavily backed when winning last start and drops into gate one.
(2) Nightlign, (7) Disciples Twelve, (9) Multiexpress.
(4) Alp's Glory, (7) Island Spring, (8) Real General, (9) Telecom Top Star.
(1) Helene Fun Star, (4) Victorius, (8) Solar Great, (9) Bomber Jet.
(1) Holyangelholy, (3) Regency Champion, (8) China Angel, (9) My Memory.
(1) Elegant Frames, (3) Diligent III, (4) Twin Turbo, (9) Spectacular Award.
(1) The Fast Lane, (2) Always Something, (7) Blossom Daily, (13) Public Figure.
(2) Happy Era, (4) Deep Thinker, (9) Smiling Watch, (10) Gabrial The King.
(1) Rich Unicorn, (4) Fat Choy Oohlala, (5) Let Me Handle It, (6) Fulfil A Wish.
(1) Garlic Boy, (2) Medallist, (6) Activism, (12) Care Free Pegasus.
(3) Berio, (5) Sterling City, (7) G-One Winning, (8) Green Eagle.
Read Michael Cox's blog - How a Japanese fan club's world came crashing down. Go to: http://www.scmp.com/author/michael-cox-0