Rookie trainer Caspar Fownes has enjoyed a fabulous start to the first season of his new career and, following a memorable three-timer last week, the in-form stable can maintain the momentum this evening with Brave Commander in the opening leg of the International Jockeys Championship. The maiden son of deceased sire Gold Brose has displayed steady improvement in his five starts, four of which have come this season. His latest attempt was a sound fifth behind Smart Champion over 1,400 metres on November 22 at Sha Tin - a key form race which already looks unusually strong. Goodwood (second) and Red Baron (third) has each won next time out, and Brave Commander remains well handicapped, given he should have finished closer when awkwardly placed on the heels of those in front. The step up to the extended Valley mile (1,650m) is a positive and there is no reason to suggest he should not handle the tight circuit at the first time of asking. Shane Dye is likely to settle the New Zealand-bred gelding in a favourable position from gate seven and the Kiwi ace has an excellent chance to be leading the championship after the completion of the first leg. One of the main dangers is expected to come from Frankie Dettori's mount Champion Speed. The steady-to-moderate tempo was a significant factor in his defeat last time, when he simply was giving away too much ground when turning for home - a by-product of having begun from barrier 14. Although he has failed to hit the frame on all three attempts over the Valley mile, he has never finished far away and the statistic may therefore be misleading. Champion Speed, a son of Danehill, should be at peak fitness following three runs in his current campaign. Champion Speed should also enjoy the solid tempo that's likely to be set by Flying Kenny and Eternal Start, who both are capable of leading over a sprint distance. The former has all the required ability to win in this grade and, while he does strike easier opposition, is uncertain at the trip. Eternal Start, who will no doubt move forward for Olivier Peslier from the outside gate, was well beaten on his only start over the Valley mile and there are grave concerns whether he can stay the trip. Smart Win and Tiramisu should settle just behind the front runners and given that both have won over the trip, they do warrant respect. Smart Win has picked up the quality of his work recently and although his form this season has been only fair, there is every reason to expect improvement tonight. Tiramisu should appreciate the step up to a mile but, if the pace is on the fast side, he only appeals as a minor-place chance. The anticipated solid pace should allow the likes of Ace Academy to rattle home in the concluding stages. The John Size-trained galloper has been in solid form this season and won over the course and distance earlier this term. Damien Oliver may need some luck in running because of Ace Academy's get-back pattern of racing, but he is certainly one for the shortlist. Wyndam Power was plunged in the market last time when finishing seventh over the course and distance behind Sixty Seconds on November 26. On the face of it, he was very disappointing, and although he leaves the impression he can win in this grade, his last effort makes it difficult to recommend him. One of the few course-and-distance winners in this line up is Golden Spirit, who will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon. He will benefit from the fast tempo and despite being well beaten behind Ace Academy over the trip last time, the freshen-up is likely to be of benefit. Plenty Of Luck has had only two starts at Happy Valley and one of those was a victory over this distance. The drop in class is a bonus and considering he finished fifth to subsequent winner Sunny Riviera on November 8, his form line look more than respectable. He is well drawn and with champion British jockey Kieren Fallon on board, he must be kept safe. There has not been much to like about the three starts of Oriental, but he has not had the ideal preparation either. There has been no market support on any of those starts and at this stage he is impossible to recommend.