THE Lawrie Fownes-trained Kadbridge ran a superb race when finishing second to topweight Helene Star in the Remy XO Cup at Sha Tin and suitable compensation can come his way today in the sponsored Hermes Watch Cup. At levels last week in the Stewards' Cup, Helene Star ran a fighting second to the exceptional Mr Vitality with the rest of them labouring so a direct line to that form suggests that Kadbridge will more than give an account of himself in today's 1,400-metre feature event. This is listed as a preparatory race for the International Bowl but with local racing's ultra-heavy guns in action in the Stewards' Cup a week ago, there is a more open look to this event and it may not turn out to be that much of a guide for the Bowl. Kadbridge has been a superb servant of the Fownes stable for years and rarely runs a bad race when conditions are there to suit and his Remy effort two weeks ago suggests the horse is in great heart. The step up in distance will certainly not be against him. He fought tenaciously to the line against Helene Star but that one can be a bit special and there does not seem to be an opponent in this 14-runner event with quite the same exalted credentials. There was only a short head between Kadbridge and Helene Star and the former had come with a sustained, fighting run from near the rear to just fail to get to the winner. Admittedly, there is a considerable weight hike today for Kadbridge who went up three rating points for his last start effort and will carry 132 pounds here which represents an actual weight rise of eight pounds. New Zealand ace Lance O'Sullivan did everything right on Kadbridge and from a favoured draw today could easily have the run of the race over this extra distance. Topweight Right Way ran last week but despite a multitude of Hong Kong starts retains a real zest for the game. However, his front-running style will not be helped by the outside barrier draw of 13 and claimer Eden H. K. Cheung may have to make a lot of use of the gelding's natural speed to get him clear. Even with the allowance, it could make it very tough for Right Way but it would be extremely unwise to leave the Brian Kan Ping-chee Irish import out of quinella and tierce bets. Trainer David Oughton has last start winner Chagall involved here and he is one of several horses from this stable who have notably progressed from last season. Another prime example is Mazal who won the final event on Wednesday night with the utmost comfort and a repeat success for Chagall is certainly not an impossibility. At the weights he is at a clear disadvantage but Chagall has impressed and improved at the track since his last winning effort and has very clear scope for significant raceday improvement. He is also favoured by the rails draw and Mick Kinane, riding in sparkling form, could find things very much to his liking. The big question must be just how will Chagall measure up to much stiffer competition - but he is not out of it. The Geoff Lane-trained Heavily Armed will be suited by the trip and, on his day, almost certainly has the measure of most of these. His overall work suggests a big run in the Hermes. Victory And Gold failed to threaten Kadbridge in the Remy XO and the same goes for Red Ruffian, although the latter turned in a much better performance suggesting he may be on the way back. But on the Remy form, it is difficult to suggest that either could reverse placings with Kadbridge even allowing for the weight differences. In-form Piere Strydom is aboard Able Monarch who also falls into the category of an improving type who is facing the toughest test of his career to date. Able Monarch has run and won some good races and he has certainly been kept to the mark by trainer Gary Ng Ting-keung. He should run well in the Hermes but probably not well enough to actually take out the event.