Dance For Gold can get groove back
Dance For Gold produced one of the most memorable debut performances of last season to stamp himself as a horse to follow this term. And tomorrow night he gets the chance to live up to that reputation with a switch to Happy Valley and a move to blinkers, making him the best banker in the middle leg of the Triple Trio.
It's not often you see a horse spot the leaders five lengths at the 200m - and not much less at the 100m - and still score up the Sha Tin straight, but that's exactly what Dance For Gold did at his first start, followed by a win over 1,200m.
Since then he has been unplaced - but not disgraced - three times over 1,400m, but stepping back to 1,200m at the city track and with blinkers on for the first time, looks the right move by Caspar Fownes.
Last time out Dance For Gold drew 10 and got a long way back and took a while to get into gear. He got into a bumping duel as he tried to push clear, which stopped his momentum - but his last 400m of 22.45s was the fastest in the race and in the end he finished just three-quarter-of-a-length off the winner.
This time from gate five, Brett Prebble will be hoping for a two-wide spot or better, in a race where he should get the right tempo his horse needs.
Last-start winner Capital K (Craig Williams), Gold Edition (Tim Clark) and Smart Kids (Alvin Mg Ka-chun) all go forward - and the first two mentioned have decent claims.
Also include Sunny Fay (Neil Callan), even though he is a handful and statistics say Sha Tin is his preferred track.
Cape Canaveral (Matthew Chadwick) has the necessary ability to win his way out of the grade, but might be worth risking on a seven-day back-up and from barrier 10.
The TT is bookended by International Jockeys' Challenge races, both Class Fours over the extended mile. English jockey Ryan Moore gets the ride on the likely favourite Absolute Fantasy, who has drawn perfectly in gate four.
His main opposition comes from the well-drawn Jade Pins (Williams), but a likely fast tempo brings Nordic Star (William Buick) and the tactically versatile Ho Wongchoy (Olivier Peslier) into play.
Expectator (Douglas Whyte) can't be left out from barrier two, and expect improvement from Travel Guide (Tom Queally) with the blinkers on.
Go without a banker in the final leg, unless stand-by starter Calling With Love gets a start, and play a "flat" four of five selections.
Victory Mascot (Chadwick), The Untouchablelad (Zac Purton), Xilai Xianzi (Queally) and Spurs On (Christophe Lemaire) are the four leading choices.
(5) Fascinating Smile, (8) Epee De Hua, (11) Fun And Fast, (12) Polygold.
(2) Surfer Boy, (4) Day Day Happy, (7) Cheers Victories, (11) Super Brother.
(3) Easy Gold, (5) Suisse D'Or, (9) Golden Osmanthus, (12) All The Winners.
(1) Ho Wongchoy, (5) Absolute Fantasy, (6) Ray's Favourite, (9) Riyadh.
(3) Cape Canaveral, (5) Sunny Fay, (7) Dance For Gold, (11) Capital K.
(1) Jimson The Best, (7) Spurs On, (9) The Untouchablelad, (10) Good Luck Win.
(5) Great Renown, (6) Superninsky, (7) Bachelor Keen, (12) Care Free Pegasus.
(3) Same World, (5) Enabling, (8) Finezza, (11) Victor Delight.