Momentum on Akeed Mofeed's side and gives him the edge against Military Attack
Akeed Mofeed is the horse with the momentum and that looks the only thing that gives him an edge on Military Attack in a fascinating Group One Citibank Hong Kong Gold Cup (2,000m) at Sha Tin.
A small field, and John Moore holds a ridiculously strong hand numerically, with five of the seven starters, yet the legitimate chances are in three different camps and the race is a delicious test of three excellent horses and their riders.
In reality, there looks absolutely nothing between Akeed Mofeed (Douglas Whyte) and Military Attack (Joao Moreira), despite their vastly different formlines this term.
Akeed Mofeed joined the Horse Of The Year as the highest-rated galloper at Sha Tin and has taken the richest race in town, the Hong Kong Cup, relegating Military Attack to fourth, but there was little between their performances except that one set of connections got the big prize money cheque at the finish and the other didn't.
Military Attack has not blotted his copybook at any point this season regardless of his form in print, and his losses have had everything to do with bad race plans brought on by bad draws.
He went forward and paid for it when the Jockey Club Cup pace was solid, while Akeed Mofeed sat back in the same race and charged home for second.
Military Attack went back from a wide draw in the Hong Kong Cup when the pace was soft and had too much to do against the tempo, while a good gate that day enabled Akeed Mofeed to get a dream trip up near the speed.
At every step, the ball has bounced well for Akeed Mofeed and Military Attack has been on the wrong side of things but the cold reality is that Akeed Mofeed's number has been going in the frame.
Military Attack will have no excuses from a good draw, if a draw immediately inside his main rival is a good draw. The two favourites have a similar sort of positional speed, which might see Whyte with Moreira on his inside all the way around and with all the options, but then any forecast of who will be where in this race is fraught with danger.
The joker in the deck is definitely Blazing Speed (Mirco Demuro), who is not to be taken lightly by either of them as he, of the three chances, is quite at home in the lead if that is what it comes down to.
Most likely, Moore will provide the leaders in Same World and Dan Excel but it's hard to imagine the pace will be anything but stop-start and that scenario could deliver both favourites to Tony Cruz's spoiler.