With Whyte on diet, all signs point to Amazingly
Following a gelding operation, Ferraris' five-year-old gets his chance in jackpot-boosted TT
Anytime Douglas Whyte takes a ride that requires him to get his weight down to below 118 pounds it pays to take note, and the David Ferraris-trained miler Amazingly has attracted the attention of the champion jockey in the final leg of Tuesday's Triple Trio at Happy Valley.
Whyte will get down to 117 pounds to ride the five-year-old - claiming two pounds over the allotted 115 - and he also rides stablemate Chater Dream later in the night at 117.
Both horses produced eye-catching lead-up trials at the Happy Valley session, but it is Amazingly - with his low draw and weight - that can help deliver TT devotees a slice of what could be a big dividend. Like today's Sha Tin TT, which carries a HK$26 million jackpot, the Valley version will be bolstered by a substantial carryover - HK$19 million-plus is already in the kitty.
Amazingly is naught from 11 since arriving from England, but was gelded late last season, and hopefully the "attitude adjustment" surgery results in more consistency. The only semblance of form Amazingly has shown is over this course and distance.
The low gate and weight are attractive, but when you throw some of Whyte's recent statistics into the mix it makes a compelling case. Last season Whyte's win strike rate was 18 per cent overall - but when narrowed down to runners carrying 117 pounds or less - the strike rate doubled to 37 per cent.
It demonstrates when Whyte makes the physical sacrifice to waste for a ride, he is incredibly effective. To further illustrate the point, when the South African got down to 116 or less - he won seven from nine in 2012-13.
The Class Four over the extended mile isn't an easy race by any means, but a few of the fancies have been stuck in wide gates and there doesn't look to be any progressive newcomers in the event.
Enabling comes to Benno Yung Tin-pang from his former boss John Size and looks a future winner, although probably over further.
Enabling struggled through a winless 2011-12 campaign after his rating climbed to 89. Back off a mark of 78, he will be winning again, although gate 10 will make it hard. King's Folks (Olivier Doleuze) is another drawn badly, but not without a chance on the score of ability. He has paid the price for consistency with a rating that keeps rising despite not winning.
The other hope is Mega Champion, who has demonstrated early-season form in the past and barrier two brings him right into this. Uwillbeglorious is a gross horse, and will benefit from an early-season run. He is on a seven-day back-up after a solid effort when resuming over the course and distance.
Whyte gets the plum draw in the middle pin, too, Me Tsui Yu-sak's Gold Edition drawing one in a Class Three over 1,000m. He is the banker, despite carrying top weight. Include You Read My Mind (Karis Teetan) and consider him as a double banker option after a good trial. Throw in The Prince (Zac Purton), Nobody But You (Eddie Lai Wai-ming) and perhaps give Seasons Star (Matthew Chadwick) another chance. One to watch is Danny Shum Chap-shing's speedy three-year-old Charity Joy (Alex Lai Hoi-wing).
In the opening leg, a Class Four over 1,650m, Shum's No Ties (Teetan) resumed with a solid run-on fifth last week, and a case can be made for him in a wide-open race. Play narrow, without a banker, with Diligent III (Lai), Real General (Tye Angland) and Riyadh (Doleuze).