Solid stayer Northern Fire Ball looks primed to run a top race for visiting jockey Richard Quinn and the likely reward is the featured Ewo Trophy at Sha Tin today. Northern Fire Ball had not been sighted in a couple of runs until he burst on to the scene late under Quinn in a race won by Sterling Town on January 4. Topweight Sterling Town attempts to repeat that success today, but the odds may well be with Northern Fire Ball to reverse the placings. And he should do on two counts: a tidy little weight swing and some very good work put in by the Wong Tang-ping stayer. Astute local trainer Wong has had a relatively quiet spell recently after posting winner after winner in the first part of the season but a few of his horses are ready to have him back in the winner's enclosure. And Northern Fire Ball looks to be one of them. The Irish-bred eight-year-old can take time to find his real form but those who have followed him over the past few seasons would have no reason to complain about results. When Northern Fire Ball is right, he can give an account of himself in most suitable races and this Classes One and Two, 2,000-metre event is certainly one of them. Quinn is a top jockey at any time over any distance but there is often a slight advantage with a top Northern Hemisphere rider going over a bit of ground. Staying races are almost the norm in Europe and, although 10 furlongs is not the most exacting task, it is not a distance where mistakes would go unpunished. Northern Fire Ball is an interesting horse. He does need to be dropped out and he does come from a long way back to make his final run - a trait that has caused a few heart-stopping moments in the past. Now that he is fit and ready - and there can be no doubt about that - Northern Fire Ball will probably not have that many behind him when they swing for home tomorrow. But it matters little if Quinn has to take him down the centre or even outside of the track - Northern Fire Ball can win this. On his last run Sterling Town must be given every consideration and cannot be left out of the tierce but a bigger danger today might be the John Moore-trained Able Shot. This able stayer stopped as if shot last time in a 1,800-metre race when he was handled by Mick Dittman. He appeared to be travelling well enough but dropped right out of proceedings. Since then, Able Shot has gone pleasingly in the mornings and looked particularly good in a couple of recent pieces of work. Moore has again called on the services of Mick Kinane and Able Shot can give a real sight. It would be impossible to back Smiling on his last run but, possibly, it is best forgotten. There may well have been excuses for the Tony Cruz-trained stayer in that on that particular day horses were simply not winning from in front. It may have been a case of track bias but front-runners - of which Smiling is one - were not favoured. If the last run is forgotten or forgiven, then Smiling is not out of this. He has gone extremely well for Cruz and his overall form certainly entitles him to plenty of respect. Cruz also has All Good in the race and the horse is working quite brilliantly. It was a superb performance from the first-season trainer to have All Good fit enough to win first-up over 2,200 metres but he was not ridden to advantage last time out when sticking to the Valley rails. Cruz has engaged useful claimer Eddie W. M. Lai but the horse is still running out of the handicap and that's not usually the way to bet and make money. Bottomweight Super Missile, with a probable overweight from Piere Strydom, could end up running 15 pounds out of the handicap and would have to be discarded on that score. One for a shade of value could be Fortissimo who did not flatter last time but may, in fact, have been flattened by his first run. He has worked well since then and David Oughton's stable apprentice Win Chung has been getting among the silverware of late. Fortissimo is a lightweight chance and is definitely worth putting into quinella and tierce combinations. Wendyll Woods rides Legitimate who had every chance last time and may do no better again while Super Goal is a very rough hope on his recent work and best form.