Master trainer John Size can provide the bankers to bookend Sunday's Triple Trio at Sha Tin, with Little Men standing out as the most clear-cut selection this season, and Sight Lover a solid pick in the opening leg.
Little Men was a tragedy beaten as 1.5 favourite last start and steps up to what looks a perfect 1,600m at his third start after an ideal lead-up preparation.
Runs over 1,200m, then 1,400m and now to a mile - with around two weeks in between each - is the classic "Australian type prep". To top it off, he has drawn two in a weak field and is likely to start in the red once again.
Douglas Whyte will ride both runners and he will be out to make amends for a ride he'd rather forget on Little Men. Whyte didn't do much wrong, but was terribly unlucky from a wide gate. He was forced to drop a long way in the run and found himself in strife when he looked to push clear after the turn. Once Whyte finally extricated himself from the jam, Little Men rocketed home at the finish. The three-year-old clocked 23.03 for the final 400m and he spent 100m of that flat-footed or changing direction, with Whyte weaving inside of horses after striking the dead ends. By the time Little Men sprinted clear, front-running leader Hinyuen Paladin was away and gone.
On debut, Little Men was impressive over a trip that was clearly far too short. He was placed up closer to the speed by Whyte, but found himself not coping with the race tempo and off the bit before turning. He stuck on gamely behind Bullish Friend and Great Charm, form that has been franked by that pair's subsequent runs.
Throw in three more - Lord Dragon (Zac Purton), Packing De Lago (Weichong Marwing) and Thanksgiving (Alvin Ng Ka-chun).
Lord Dragon and Packing De Lago both step up to a mile after run-on efforts over 1,400m, while two of Thanksgiving's previous wins have been when gifted with the same inside draw.
Sight Lover broke through at his fourth try last start, and even though he has been elevated to the top of Class Four, he has struck a weak race.
Also consider Golden Gunners (Tye Angland), Bullish Boy (Matthew Chadwick) and Hong Kong Fat (Alex Lai Hoi-wing).
In the middle pin, a Class Four up the straight, it will be crucial for Marwing to get Exciting Dream to jump on terms from his tricky draw. If he does, the John Moore-trained import will be hard to beat.
Exciting Dream has moved well in his two turf trials but has been half a step slow at the start, something he will need to remedy jumping from barrier three. It helps that there is speed drawn near him in the form of Dane Patrol (Jackie Tong Chi-kit), who should also be considered.
Being drawn next to the grandstand is a huge advantage and Gold Ball (Olivier Doleuze) - with blinkers on for the first time - gets the "golden gate" of 14. Include Gold Edition (Tim Clark) and Sir Eagles (Whyte).
Read Michael Cox’s blog – a race made to measure for the Moore machine. Go to: http://www.scmp.com/author/michael-cox-0
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