Jump on Hayes' Express
Champion trainer David Hayes can land the Chevalier Cup with Helene Express as the classy Australian import gave all the right signals when winning first up for Glen Boss last month.
That was over 1,400 metres and today's feature event on a programme that also stars Johan Cruyff and Desert Fox in the Po Oi Diamond Jubilee Cup, is a vital 200 metres longer which will suit the Group-class import admirably.
Boss makes way for stable jockey Basil Marcus and the South African has drawn perfectly in barrier two, so it should be a case of everything falling right for Helene Express.
Drawn wide on debut, Helene Express covered a lot of extra ground and landed the odds handily at 15-1.
Since then Hayes has done quite a bit with the son of Scenic and Helene Express is making a bold bid for International Races selection.
Although today's is a Class One event, a couple of those involved have not got the best of recent form and should struggle. Bottomweight El Eviento may well have lost the plot and looks to have it all to do from his extreme outside barrier draw of 12. He is tackling 1,600 metres for the first time and is not guaranteed to get it.
But there are some interesting runners involved, including the Brian Kan Ping-chee-trained Industrialist who is backing up after a good introduction to local racing a week ago. He finished fourth on debut and there was a lot to like about it.
Industrialist is also down for the Hong Kong Mile and would need to win here to be considered and that may prove a task. He does, however have solid English form to Listed Race level and it will be more than good enough to win some good races in Hong Kong.
British champion jockey Kieren Fallon will be aboard Irish-bred debutant Survey General who also has very good overseas form and John Moore will be thinking in terms of a Derby tilt with this one. He's done a bit leading into this but probably not enough, but keep an eye on the market.
The forgotten horse of the field is topweight Holy Grail who has had just one run this season, back in September. At that stage he was holding an entry for the Cox Plate but finished fifth to Danzighill over 1,400 metres, losing out by just over five lengths. Plans for Melbourne were aborted but it was more the time factor than the unplaced run.
Since then trainer Ivan Allan has had time to work with Holy Grail and last year's Derby winner, again ridden by David Harrison, should not be opposed. Holy Grail is fully capable of running into the minor money or even pulling off another shock victory.
Lord Of Warriors came late through horses at Happy Valley last time to win over the longer sprint and has been hammered 11 points for the head success. That may be enough to stop him.
Divine Prospect is the other Hayes runner in the field and he too commands respect. Forget his first run of the season when he needed it anyway and go on a solid effort behind Valley-loving Pinky Long Legs at the city track last time out. He is up three points but is also back at Sha Tin and is ready to run a bold race.
In the absence through suspension of Brett Doyle, the important ride on Colourful Era goes to claimer Alex K. S. Yu and, despite an awkward outside draw, Andy T. W. Leung's charge is one for the exotics because he will almost certainly be over his true odds.