David Hayes' Group One-winning mare is out, but Zipping Classic winner is a Vase possible for Chris Waller

As ever, the list of Longines Hong Kong International Races hopefuls changes daily at this time of year and the race in Melbourne that was supposed to confirm Group One-winning mare Rising Romance as a Sha Tin visitor next month actually performed the opposite task. The David Hayes-trained mare was a fairly short-priced favourite to win the Zipping Classic at Sandown in Melbourne yesterday but finished out of the placings, with Hayes telling the media that she had jarred up on the firm track. Hong Kong is now off her agenda, but it was swings and roundabouts for Jockey Club officials, who were hopeful last night that Chris Waller-trained Who Shot Thebarman, who holds an entry for the Vase, might now be a possibility to come instead. Alan Aitken

A drop in trip back to 1,200m proves key for Class Five galloper Gold Precious

The Me Tsui Yu-sak juggernaut rolled on at Sha Tin, as he moved to joint leader on the trainers' championship and led in his fifth winner for the week after Gold Precious took the opener. In fact, it was Tsui's fifth winner in 10 races after a four-timer on Wednesday, and gave him 14 wins to level up with Dennis Yip Chor-hong. Gold Precious backed up from last Sunday where he raced without success at 1,400m but jockey Zac Purton said the drop back to 1,200m had been the difference. "Even though he has won at 1,400m, he hadn't been looking that strong at the finish those last couple of starts but he was very fit coming back to 1,200m and it worked well," he said. Alan Aitken

Tempo crucial to chances of Tony Cruz's quirky Terrific Master

A solid race tempo was the key to Terrific Master going back-to-back over a mile, according to Douglas Whyte, who said the Tony Cruz-trained five-year-old might yet win again. "When they go slow in front he doesn't help himself out - he gets on the bridle, he can't use that sprint he has and he becomes a bit dour. Today, that didn't happen and he showed what he can do," Whyte said after Terrific Master won for the fifth time in 22 starts, beating dead-heaters Winnam and Happilababy. "He isn't going to go up much higher, but he will still have a nice competitive weight next time. If Tony can keep him in this form, then he will be hard to beat." Michael Cox

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