John Size-trained Golden Addiction showed a liking for Happy Valley's extended mile when dead-heating for his maiden win nearly two weeks ago and has been gifted a plum draw for his return on the "C" course tomorrow night.
The judge couldn't separate Golden Addition and Young Talent when they met on November 6, but it was clear who had the tougher run in the race. Golden Addiction copped the same five point ratings rise as Young Talent and that horse came out and franked the form, running a game second on a seven day back-up at the Valley last week.
On his first try beyond 1,200m, first time at the city track and fourth-up for the term, Golden Addiction was trapped wide through the first turn in race 141, and soon after Joao Moreira found a one-off spot on the second bend, he was looping wide around the home bend as Zac Purton took an easier route on Young Talent.
Golden Addition seemed to have the better of Young Talent inside the furlong but, as inexperienced horses can do, he seemed to stop for a few strides in front and gave Young Talent to pounce under hard riding.
It would be reasonable to expect a sharper and more seasoned racehorse at career start seven, but the key here for Golden Addition is gate one, from where Karis Teetan can easily find the coveted spot three back on the fence or box seat with the rail in the tight "C" configuration.
There should be sufficient speed in the race for Golden Addiction to run into the contest late, Little Rainforest with Mathew Chadwick aboard the obvious pace influence from gate 11, but this time the horse won't have to do the unnecessary work he was forced into last time out.
Of the others, Jack's Gem (Tye Angland) has a zero from seven record at the Valley but returns a much improved horse on those early efforts, and drawn two he must be included as one of the main chances.
Caspar Fownes employs the quick back up better than any trainer in Hong Kong and Speedygonzalez (Olivier Doleuze) looms as a big hope, especially after drawing favourably in three.
Rising Power (Derek Leung Ka-chun) also goes in, and it's a toss up between Uwillbeglorious (Umberto Rispoli) and Holy Mac (Neil Callan) as an outside place chance.
In the final leg, a 1,200m Class Four, Fownes has gone for the seven-pound claim of apprentice Dicky Lui Cheuk-yin on last-start winner Highest Acclaim, and while it will be heart-in-mouth stuff, take him as banker.
Others are Mi Savvy (Doleuze), coming off a tough run but seemingly back in decent form this season, St Yazin (Douglas Whyte), Regency Champion (Chadwick) and Choice Treasure (Purton).
Happy Champion (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) might be the one to risk, leave him out after he drew 12.
The opening leg (Class Four, 1,650m) is a tough one. Rather than play a banker, go with four selections; Riyadh (Doleuze), Hurry Hurry Up (Jacky Tong Chi-kit), Bolero (Eddy Lai Wai-ming) and Cool Bean (Whyte).