Perhaps it’s a case of sending a boy on a man’s errand but claimer Dylan Mo Hin-tung has a knockout chance taking on some slick dirt sprinters in the Penfold Park Handicap (1,200m) on the all-weather on Wednesday night at Sha Tin.
Trainer Me Tsui Yu-sak has entrusted the ride on Almababy to the 10-pound claimer Mo in a Class One race where he will lack the experience of rival jockeys but he is capable of winning it if the gelding brings his last-start Happy Valley form.
The Penfold Park is a particularly tricky race with several horses coming off long breaks with injury, others dropping back from 1,650m assignments and some whose reliability is open to question.
It is, in short, a nightmare of a race, but with just 104 pounds in the saddle, Almababy can be part of the finish if Mo gets things right.
While Almababy probably ran as well winning a Class Three at Happy Valley last time as he has ever gone in his life, in Australia or here, but that partly fell in the lap of his rider Vincent Ho Chak-yiu. Unlike most starts, when Almababy has come out running with the lead, that night he was slow to begin and that turned out to be more suitable to that race.
The leaders went very fast, Almababy gobbled them up from the back of the field and really couldn’t have been more impressive at the end of the 1,000m.
But probably here we’ll see Almababy back to a forward-running position, which looks more suitable for this event and makes better use of his tiny handicap and Mo’s limited skills from further back in the field.
Much of the talk will be about the speedy horses up the top of the weights but, with a decent pace on, the other main hopes might also be getting a weight break, with Wah May Friend (Joao Moreira), Eroico (Karis Teetan) and Happy Surveys (Keith Yeung Ming-lun) all chances in an open affair.