Douglas Whyte’s rides in all three legs of the Triple Trio can act as banker tomorrow night at Happy Valley with First Sight Love, Energetic Class and I’m A Witness each looking well placed to break through.
Almond Lee’s First Sight Love is a two-time Valley winner and even though it has been close to two years since the six-year-old last tasted success, the gelding is finding form with his rating at an all-time low and he stands out in the opening leg of the TT.
Two weeks after Japanese rider Keita Tosaki was third on him in a leg of the International Jockeys’ Championship, Whyte takes the reins over the same 1,650m trip in a race that should pan out nicely for the back marker.At his first time back in Class Four, First Sight Love made up plenty of ground after Tosaki allowed his mount to become detached from the field in the early stages and made a wide and late run in a race where the sectionals favoured the front runners.
Even with the rail in the C position, there should be enough speed to give First Sight Love a fair chance, with Jack Wong Ho-nam back aboard Silver Dragon, back up to 1,650m and likely to be pressing forward. Others that should be placed prominently in the run, and all coming across from wide gates to create some pressure, will be last-start winner Lightning Pegasus (Keith Yeung Ming-lun), Addole and Never Better.
Endorsing, with the in-form Alex Lai Hoi-wing aboard, maps to get a nice run from barrier three and he goes in with Vara Pearl (Joao Moreira).
Getting a clean jump on Michael Chang Chun-wai-trained sprinter Energetic Class will be key for Whyte in the next leg, a 1,200m Class Four.Energetic Class had bombed the start at his first two starts this season but ran on strongly before Brett Prebble had the four-year-old finally step on terms when settling closer before finishing second to Honest Horse.
Whyte will need to do something similar to take advantage of gate three with the rail out, and even though the horse scoping with blood in his trachea after that run doesn’t read well, he finds himself in a far weaker division that the other section of the Class Four.
Back In Black (Umberto Rispoli) didn’t fare as well at the draw but goes in with Sharp Hunter (Moreira) and Glory Sunshine (Richard Fourie).
In the final leg, Tony Cruz brings I’m A Witness to the city circuit for the first time in the second section of the 1,200m Class Four and an encouraging trial at the track back in September before the four-year-old’s first race start adds some confidence.
I’m A Witness has placed at his last two without ever really threatening but gets another nice draw and looms as a percentage play for those searching for a solid banker.Step Faster (Gregory Benoist) is another option from a better draw following a game third, beaten just a length by Haymaker, after a torrid run over the course and distance two weeks back.
A new acquisition for David Hall this season, Step Faster has a terrible strike rate and hasn’t won for more than two years, but the son of Lonhro is finding a mark and from the draw should get every chance.
Others to include in a competitive race are Chin Chun (Derek Leung Ka-chun),Timely Arrived (Yeung), Helen’s Choice (Lai) and Mission Possible (Moreira), while two to leave out are last-start winners Diamond Master and Rocket Let Win.