With blinkers on for the first time and a nice draw, Paul O’Sullivan-trained Good Man jumps off the page as the best banker in the opening leg of a tricky Triple Trio at Sha Tin tomorrow.
Good Man finished runner-up at his first three starts over 1,200m and returns to the same course and distance drawn barrier two on the B+2 course against what looks a subpar field.
After an excellent debut, Good Man has finished second to Hammer King twice – form that was franked when that horse finished a close second behind Tonyboy and close up alongside exciting prospect Mr Stunning last weekend.
O’Sullivan’s four-year-old races on the speed, but is still a relaxed enough type that looks ready for the blinkers and should find some added focus with the gear change.
The Class Four looks a race in two on paper, and perhaps the main danger I’m A Witness (Joao Moreira) can slot in as a double banker – a risk that might be required given the nature of the following two legs.
I’m A Witness jumps from one and what the two jockeys do from the gates will be fascinating, although Purton might just hold the upper hand tactically with his rival on his inside. That said, both have the speed to maintain a handy position, if not race one-two.
In a contest that drops away quickly, take Flying Monkey (Chad Schofield), Pearl Win (Matthew Chadwick) and Carefree Let Go (Nash Rawiller). As a blow-out hope, maybe Victory Marvel (Brett Prebble) is the one – the still-green three-year-old ran a massive race on debut after sitting wide.
A Class Three straight race forms the middle leg of the TT and bank on Manfred Man Ka-leung’s classy sprinter Malmsteen (Gerald Mosse) to get the job done.
Malmsteen was super-impressive on debut and has since performed admirably behind a couple of handy types in Racing Supernova and Washington Heights. He draws gate one here, but perhaps the straight isn’t favouring the outside rail as much of late as it had been in recent seasons.
This is a deep race – a strong case could be made for Triumphant Jewel (Purton), Team Fortune (Moreira) and Diamond Master (Jack Wong Ho-nam), but these straight contests can produce some funny results.
Fionesay (Alvin Ng Ka-chun) and Bad Boy (Tommy Berry) have drawn outside and could also sneak into the placings.
In the final leg take Ricky Yiu Poon-fai’s Happy Agility (Moreira) with a better draw in a 1,600m Class Four.
The four-year-old has drawn gates 11 and 12 at his last two and from barrier five Moreira should find a more comfortable run in a race where there should be better than average tempo.
California Joy (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) should go in, and although he will be well-fancied in betting, expect the three-year-old to find this a much more difficult task on a two-week back-up, even with a nice draw.
Gorgeous Legend (Nash Rawiller) will lay up from a low draw and goes in along with Bulb Master (Purton), while Royale Elegance (Karis Teetan) will benefit from the anticipated strong tempo.