John Moore’s solid dirt tracker Sure Peace looks a sure-fire banker for Triple Trio players in the TT closer on Sunday at Sha Tin and can keep the trainer’s momentum moving after his midweek double.
A Lunar New Year brace for Moore gave him 15 wins for the season and Sure Peace can add another to the tally on an all-weather track where the four-year-old has been incredibly consistent.
Sure Peace had already won once on the dirt entering this season and, even though that was in Class Five, the gelding’s dirt pedigree came shining through and he has progressed to the top of Class Four with an excellent record on this surface this season.
The Australian-bred son of Tale of The Cat resumed with a win over 1,650m, has won again over the course and distance since and has only missed a place once in six starts this term, when he raced at Happy Valley in late November.
Last time out, Sure Peace was a luckless third, with barrier one proving to be a hindrance rather than help, as it often can be on the tricky dirt track. After failing to muster much speed at the start, Moreira found himself behind the wrong horses turning for home and had his momentum halted at a key stage on straightening.
If not for the check Sure Peace may have even won, as he did a great job to pick back up and sprint with 132 pounds. He was finishing better than anything in the race, hitting the line hard and less than a length behind the winner, True Comment (Karis Teetan), who he faces again here, but four pounds better off at the weights.
Now with top weight of 133 pounds and barrier eight, Sure Peace comes back to 1,650m, where he has missed a place just once in seven starts.
Of the others, take Entrusting (Glyn Schofield), Super Silks (Douglas Whyte) and Cheerful Frame (Silvestre de Sousa).
The opening leg is an 1,800m Class Four, where what should be a strong tempo will help Benno Yung Tin-pang’s Rapid Triumph (Moreira) get into the contest late.
The presence of lightweight chances Mister Marc and Lucky Ball, along with some other pace influences, should ensure at least some tempo as jockeys strive to take forward positions with the rail in the C+3 position.
Rapid Triumph has taken a while to hit his straps but after a strong closing effort in a leader-dominated 2,200m Valley race last start, it looks like Moreira can capitalise on a better gate and find a lovely spot trailing the speed.
Also take last-start winner Midnite Promise (Nash Rawiller), Rouge Et Blanc (Glyn Schofield) and Beauty Love (de Sousa).
The middle leg, a Class Four straight race, looks by far the toughest to negotiate safely, with a number of in-form chances but no clear stand-out.
Chris So Wai-yin’s Flying Monkey (Brett Prebble) might be one to take a punt on at his second start after a nice debut behind Fish ‘N Chips just under a month ago over the course and distance.
The form out of that race has stacked up well – Fish ‘N Chips has since raced well, as did fourth placed Free November on Wednesday, while fifth placed Top Bonus won at the Valley last week.
As a three-year-old on debut, Flying Monkey would have taken plenty away from that first-up effort, and he also had barrier two and should be better off closer to the grandstand rail time from gate nine.
Dancing Flames (Glyn Schofield) comes back to the scene of his most impressive performance so far and could also serve as banker, even if top weight of 133 pounds is a bit of a worry against a relatively deep field of older horses.
Peace Combination (Moreira) is drawn better and London City (Jack Wong Ho-nam) has to be given some hope back at 1,000m. The trials of debutant Dragon Master (Rawiller) have been good, and while barrier one is a tough ask, he is worth consideration.