Joao Moreira will be hungry for winners after coming up empty at the Macau feature meeting on Saturday and his ability to get Regency Bo Bo out of the gates looks to hold the key to a tricky 18 Districts Cup (1,400m) at Sha Tin.
Despite his slow starts, Regency Bo Bo has assembled a nice record of two wins and five seconds in that time, surely a pointer to a decent career as he matures and he stands out as the form horse of Sunday’s race.
The Magic Man managed to get the Tony Cruz-trained gelding out of the gates cleanly last time but, ironically, he was unable to outrun Kingsfield.
That was a slowly run race over the same distance, where Moreira was able to place Regency Bo Bo outside the eventual winner.
It devolved into just a 400m sprint down the straight between the two and that’s a race that can go either way, and went the wrong way.
Still it was a major achievement for Moreira to get the three-year-old to begin cleanly as it has rarely happened in his nine starts in Hong Kong, or his record would look even better.
If he has now turned the corner at the jump, then the Class Three trophy looks at the mercy of Regency Bo Bo but a slow start will only make his job harder.
The waters are also muddy for his main danger, Chung Wah Spirit (Zac Purton), who has not been a convincing beginner in three runs here but has run quite well each time.
Whether he would have been much closer last start is a question mark but he was slightly held up in the race won by Thor The Greatest over 1,200m and the extra 200m looks in his favour. Perhaps that’s why he has the shades on here – to be a bit sharper – but a look back at his only run in Australia in blinkers showed him over-racing in his only defeat there.
On the forgive side, it was his first start in a race, but it does give pause to wonder how he reacts to them for the first time here this afternoon.
So both favourites have a query hanging over them, yet they look to stand out in the race on form.
The horse with no queries is Right Call (Karis Teetan), who is the perfect racehorse in every way but his limited talent. Right Call jumps fast, takes a good position, tries hard and has won four of his 20 starts – he just has a problem if his more talented rivals don’t make any mistakes and that’s the bottom line to Sunday’s race.