Wait until the final event on the nine-race Sha Tin card for today's best bet when David Oughton's Magic Hands looks set to land his fifth success of the season in the 1,800-metre contest. The son of Pompeii Court has had a remarkable rise up the ratings this term, standing on a mark of 93 now after beginning on a mark of 58, and his winning ways look far from over. Indeed, he has been beaten only twice this season, and he did have excuses last time. After settling in a rearward position, Douglas Whyte was disadvantaged by the moderate tempo set by Slotop and had too much to do by the time he turned in to the home straight. Several horses reoppose from that event, including the victor Natural Winner, runner-up My Heart and fourth-placed Mighty Dragon, whose effort was tremendous in the circumstances as he was in a similar position to Magic Hands entering the home straight. However, preference is for Magic Hands as Whyte is likely to have him in a more prominent position from barrier four. The biggest threat is likely to come from Mighty Dragon, who has been decidedly unlucky not to have won since his arrival from England. Before his last run, he had also finished fourth on his only other attempt over this course and distance behind Monards with Derby winner Industrial Pioneer third. That is rock-solid form, but the reason for siding with Magic Hands is that Mighty Dragon's race pattern is to get well back in the field and he may need an ounce of luck when coming from a rearward position. My Heart and Natural Winner will find it more difficult today to repeat their last performances as a genuine tempo is likely from last-start winner Hornet. But the latter is unlikely to last home as he has failed to make the frame in five attempts over this distance, which looks just beyond his stamina capabilities. Tony Cruz's High Spirits is another who can race prominently, and with apprentice Patrick Tse's five-pound claim he comes into this event dangerously handicapped. But it is interesting to note that Felix Coetzee appears to have opted for Natural Winner, and on top of that High Spirits was not very impressive in a recent barrier trial. Hornet's trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee appears to have a better chance with Rainbow And Gold, who will be looking for his fourth success of the season. He was never a realistic chance in the Hong Kong Gold Cup, where he faced top-class opposition at level weights, but prior to that had been in brilliant form. The drop to 1,800 metres is a negative for this progressive stayer, but he must be given respect. Kan also runs Ironic Commander, but it appears the handicapper has the five-year-old's measure at present. Earlier in the day, the griffin race should fall to John Moore's Lucky Lad, a good first-start scorer who displayed his well-being when winning a barrier trial recently. He has come on in leaps and bounds since his last outing and he should keep his winning record intact in the 1,200-metre race, the second on the card. A couple of interesting debutants are the Argentine-bred Sirocco, who has moved stylishly in his work, and the imposing International Sale griffin Star Warrior. In the seventh event, Alex Wong Siu-tan's Masterpiece can shrug off his maiden tag once and for all. He can be forgiven for his last run as he was caught very wide and may have raced a little too keenly. Prior to that he was a most consistent performer and he has struck an easier field today. The quinella choice is David Hill's Seasons Glory, who was a shock 132-1 winner last time. There was no fluke about that win and, while he may have been aided by a little give in the track, similar conditions could well apply today.