Lifeline a Super chance for Hong Kong as our horses take on Macau's best
The local horses have generally had the wood on the visitors in a decade of the $2 million Hong Kong Macau Trophy (1,400m) and rarely has there been a horse looking as well suited to the event as Super Lifeline.
The Tony Millard-trained four-year-old was tried against the best of his age in the Classic Mile, where he finished a creditable fifth at level weights with Able Friend and Designs On Rome, but Millard has wisely gone back to the handicap system and 1,400m since and it has paid off.
Super Lifeline (Karis Teetan) relished the task when he lined up in the Class One Chinese New Year Challenge Cup last time, getting the run of the race with his ability to sit on the speed then proving too strong for Dundonnell in the final 100m.
Last week, we saw Dundonnell drop down to Class Two and get the job done to frank that form and that points to Super Lifeline building on his already excellent winning record of five from eight today at Sha Tin.
At just 1,000 pounds, Super Lifeline isn't overly big so being able to carry only 117 pounds again today suits, and Teetan should be able to produce a carbon copy of his last ride on the gelding.
As is usual with the interport features, the Macau horses look most likely to provide the leaders in the race, with Wonder Mossman, Lucky And Wealthy and Master Of Puppets all having on-pace run styles.
That should allow Teetan to position Super Lifeline behind them in the run to the turn from barrier six, then be the one claiming the lead at the 200m.
From there, his light weight should do its job, allowing Super Lifeline to finish his race strongly and hold any late finishers at bay.
His main danger could be Winning Leader (Zac Purton), who looks better placed at the handicaps here than with topweights in his past few starts, and he is drawn for a nice trip.
Winning Leader was certainly disappointing over 1,600m last time out when he box-seated in running, but Purton has got better results out of the gelding in the past riding him more quietly and he gets the opportunity to do that here.
John Moore-trained Flash Knight (Gerald Mosse) has not been a prolific winner due to his get-back style but he has plenty of ability, backs up from a run over 1,600m two weeks ago and is capable of being in the finish.
The Macau runners look a little stronger than they have been in the last couple of years, but a slice of the minor prizemoney looks to be their most realistic aspiration.