Big week for Fownes begins with live Triple Trio hopes
Trainer has the return of Lucky Nine to look forward to on Sunday, but he can get his season on track with two banker prospects in the first and last legs
Caspar Fownes can provide a bookend of bankers in Wednesday's Triple Trio at Happy Valley, with Starting Over and Braveness looking the goods in the first and last legs.
Fownes has crept into his usual top five position of the Trainers' Championship at the season's halfway point, but there is a sense that the popular horseman will have a stronger second half of the term. The numbers have to turn around given the quality of horseflesh in his stable, and the 43rd meeting of the season looks a good time to shake a recent cold streak of three winners from his last 42 runners.
Starting Over struggled for the most part through his first five runs after coming from England, but has appreciated a drop into Class Four and was finding the line nicely over Wednesday night's course and distance of 1,650m last start.
The four-year-old was second behind the in-form Step High, beaten just 1-1/4 lengths, and he beat home another in-form galloper, Super Team. He avoids a rematch with Tony Millard's charge after that horse was drawn in the second section of the Class Four.
A decent draw (six) should see Andreas Suborics find a comfortable one-off position, just better than midfield, and he'll be running on in a race that seems to have some speed.
Beauty Lead and Mighty Equus can lead, while Classy Victor, with sheepskin cheek pieces applied, could be another pace influence in what is the first leg of the Triple Trio. Natural progression should take care of the rest - if Starting Over can replicate or go better than he did last start then he should win.
Include Spirit Soaring (Zac Purton), after he drew one, while Able Magic (Derek Leung Ka-chun) ends his run of terrible draws and should be included. As far as draws go, Dennis Yip Chor-hong's Winning Mascot (Tye Angland) is having no luck - he jumps from gate 12 again, but has claims in an average contest.
Braveness (Angland) is a talented sprinter who would have long left the ranks of Class Three if not for leg problems. He has drawn awkwardly and has top weight in the Volunteer's Challenge Cup, but can make it back-to-back wins over the 1,000m course in the anchor leg.
Next best is Ricky Yiu Poon-fai's Fantastico (Karis Teetan), who is in good form, has gate three and had the benefit of a lung-clearing trial last week. With 117 pounds he is a major threat and seems likely to win again from that sort of mark soon, if not here. Others to consider are Brilliant Proposal (Mirco Demuro), St Yazin (Eddy Lai Wai-ming) and Eastern Promise (Brett Prebble).
The middle pin is the aforementioned second section of the Class Four over 1,650m, with Jack's Gem (Angland) and Super Team (Moreira) standing out as bankers. Both have drawn well and perhaps consider playing a double banker in what shapes as a weak race.
Also include Dragon Pins (Olivier Doleuze), Expectator (Douglas Whyte) and Good Luck Win (Matthew Chadwick) after he trialled well last week.