There's no stopping the Joao Moreira train and the Brazilian's first attempt on Strong Foundation should produce a win in the Flamingo Handicap (1,650m) at Happy Valley tonight.
Moreira is more often than not the go-to jockey when connections of a horse feel that it needs that something extra to turn the placings into a win and Strong Foundation fits that mould.
He has had three trainers since April and minor placings at four of his last five starts, and Strong Foundation is obviously proving a frustrating horse for his owner.
He kicked off his career in Hong Kong with Francis Lui Kin-wai, later won for Caspar Fownes before a stint with Ricky Yiu Poon-fai and returned to Lui's yard for his most recent run. Along the way he has racked up seven first four finishes from 14 runs as well as that victory.
From a slightly wider draw than tonight, he enjoyed a good speed up front last start and got to the line well but not quite well enough when touched off by Photon Willie over tonight's course. With his rider that night, Brett Prebble on the suspended list, Moreira takes over and this sets up similarly to become the gelding's second victory over the Valley extended mile.
Ten-pound claimer Jack Wong Ho-nam goes on forward-running Super Man from a wider draw, while the horses in gates two (Medic Kingdom), three (Go Go Win), four (Northern Falls) and five (Bullish Smart) are all likely to want a prominent position too.
That should generate a worthwhile pace in the race and Moreira can cross behind the tempo to plant Strong Foundation in midfield, waiting to launch a winning finish after straightening for home.
The horse he has to run down should be Go Go Win (Alex Lai Hoi-wing), who will appreciate dropping back to the 1,650m, where he has won twice and which looks his best trip even though he handled the 1,800m well enough last start.