General Iron out to prove he's made of Whyte steel
Danny Shum Chap-shing's General Iron has shown enough in his previous efforts at Happy Valley to suggest the drop to Class Four can see him break through in the Craigengower Cricket Club Challenge Cup (1,000m) on Wednesday night.
In six outings, General Iron has shown good pace before finishing outside the placings and Douglas Whyte has seen enough in the four-year-old to get aboard for the first time.
The keys to considering his chances are General Iron's performances in Class Three over the Valley 1,200m during November and December, prior to his latest attempts at Sha Tin.
After showing pace and fading on his local debut, an improved performance followed when General Iron chased a strong speed and held on for sixth to Regency Champion but his third and fourth outings, when he should have finished closer but for trouble in running, indicated a coming win.
He had a checkered passage behind Hawthorne in race 254 but recovered to be beaten three lengths and he only has to repeat that to be competitive.
General Iron has been to Sha Tin twice since, once down the straight when he showed good pace to lead and finish sixth, then a tough run charging forward at 1,200m from a wider draw.
If he can show the same sort of speed, he should stay in touch with the likely leader and favourite, Joao Moreira's mount, Call Me Achiever.
Call Me Achiever looks a serious danger, with every chance he will find the rail. His only win came over this course from a low draw and he has filled second six more times in 14 starts at the trip.
Barrier two and a last-start second to Ocean Roar also read well for his prospects but his overall profile, one win in 23 starts, hardly seems encouraging for a short-priced commodity.