WINNING Blossom looks the proverbial handicap good thing in this afternoon's second event on Chairman's Prize day at Sha Tin. The focal point of the meeting will be the performance of Mr Vitality in the end-of-season sprint championship which is race four on the eight-event card. But he is one to savour rather than bet on, as he is going to be at very cramped odds and the 1,200-metre trip looks to be shorter than he wants in order to show his full potential. On the other hand Winning Blossom, though unlikely to be at generous odds either, does look worthy betting material in the second. He is a well-bred individual, being by the former Group One Kings Stand winner, Bluebird, whose stud career is now starting to go so well. And his dam has already thrown a Group Three winner. Indeed, Winning Blossom cost plenty as a yearling, but is already beginning to look another useful private purchase griffin recruit to the Alex Wong Yu-on camp. It is uncanny how Wong finds these impressive unraced types each season. Besides Winning Blossom, the likes of Deerfield, Winning Chance, Pride And Joy, Supreme Monarch and Grand Prize all spring readily to mind. According to his owners, the answer is in the network of agents he has nurtured over the years in all the different racing jurisdictions. Winning Blossom had just started to live up to his name and bloom in the 10 days or so before he made his racing debut down the straight 1,000-metre course. The result was a strong second to Brave Warrior, cutting through his opponents to claim second in the closing stages. After that Wong pitched him straight into the Kukri Trophy which is a domestic set-weights race for three-year-old imports over the past two seasons. On form he looked to have no chance whatsoever yet he ran an absolute cracker to come storming home for fourth, beaten just 23/4 lengths by Banker's Delight. The extremely talented Hussar was second, conceding 16 pounds to the winner and 20 pounds to Winning Blossom, and the triple career winner, Lifo, was third. Now even the most conservative appraisal of that puts Winning Blossom into today's Class Four event with pounds and pounds in hand over his rivals. Assuming that Lifo, who did not get the best of runs throughout but is a very progressive individual, ran a few pounds below his previous winning form, then it is impossible to have Winning Blossom running to a handicap mark much lower than 60. This would also fit in with Hussar who ran to something like an 87 when beating Got It Made the start before. If Hussar ran up to that level of performance in the Kukri then Winning Blossom also comes out as having run to about a 60. Yet this afternoon he competes from a rating of 46 towards the bottom of Class Four. Indeed, the handicapping department appear to have taken a very lenient view of his run in the Kukri Trophy. Put it another way, if Winning Blossom ran to a mark of 46 in the Kukri, then Lifo ran to only a 61, Hussar to only a 73 and Banker's Delight to just a 59. This is an untenable position as Lifo has already beaten subsequent scorer Outerwear from a rating of 70, Hussar won his previous start from a rating of 76 and wouldn't you want to have your maximum on Banker's Delight if he were ever allowed to compete from a rating of 59 in Class Three. Yet these are the figures implied by allowing Winning Blossom to start from a rating of 46. Of course, it is always somewhat dangerous to take a literal translation of set-weights form into handicap races - the latter type of race always produces the more reliable form lines. But we are not talking about a few pounds here or there. We're talking 10 to 14 pounds as a measure of how well Winning Blossom may be handicapped. The other slight doubt is the trip. He will be better over 1,400 metres but again, as he looks to be so well handicapped, he can probably get away with the trip being shorter than ideal. Should Winning Blossom fail to oblige then it could pay to support Drifting Away who looks to have the seventh event at his mercy. This is a much easier race than he contested last time, when he had no luck in running behind Joint Account. And Eric Legrix looks a significant replacement for stable apprentice Simon 'Hong Kong' Yim as Drifting Away has been crying out for a senior jockey.