David Hayes' crack stayer Beethoven is set to continue his journey up the ranks at Sha Tin this afternoon, where he bids to land the biggest prize of his career to date in the $2.3 million Queen Mother Memorial Cup over 2,400 metres. The strikingly handsome son of champion stamina influence Zabeel may have to slog his way to victory, however, as heavy rain and thunderstorms is the gloomy forecast. Beethoven has left the impression he will relish the step up to this distance, and his two battling wins over 2,000 metres this season suggest his speed will be even more potent when used at the end of a staying trip. In addition, his pedigree suggests the distance and going will not be a problem, a contention supported by his win earlier this season on a good-to-yielding track. His latest victory on April 25 was arguably his finest performance to date. He clocked a final quarter of 22.7 seconds at the end of a 2,000 metres race - the fastest final sectional of the meeting. Even the great Silent Witness could manage only 23.1 seconds on the same day. The narrow margin of the victory resulted in a mere five-point penalty, which leaves Beethoven well placed to repeat. Supreme Rabbit, the winner of this race last year, flew home for third behind Beethoven that day suggesting he could turn the tables this afternoon, particularly as he is guaranteed to handle the distance. The main concern is that his form on rain-affected tracks is not as good as his credits on top of the ground. However, Tony Cruz has obviously mapped out this race specifically for him and he is still worthy of respect. Dennis Yip Chor-hong's Industrial Success (fourth) had every possible chance to run past Beethoven last time but was beaten into submission. His chances will be enhanced if the track is rated as soft or worse and with Douglas Whyte on board there is plenty in his favour. Helene Vitality has met Beethoven twice this season, both times over 2,000 metres and the score is one-all. The former defeated Beethoven back in December but offered little in the most recent encounter when fading to sixth. He is another who becomes harder to recommend if the expected rain arrives. Ivan Allan is one trainer that definitely will not be opposed to the heavens opening up, as both Come See You and Cheers Hong Kong are proven on rain-affected tracks. The former was beaten a head by Caracoler in this race in 2002 and showed he has returned to form with his win on March 17. If he is up to his best he looks a strong chance. The last time Cheers Hong Kong won a race was the 2002 Champions & Chater Cup (Gr 1, 2,400m) on soft ground. He finished sixth to Beethoven in that key form race last month but is capable of vast improvement if the track softens. Tony Millard's Caracoler notched his only local victory in this event two years ago. The return to Sha Tin will help him but his overall form this season hasn't been encouraging. He was beaten a whopping 351/4 lengths by Elephant Dance at Happy Valley over 2,200 metres last month and it's hard to envisage him finding enough to beat that rival this time round, never mind the others. Elephant Dance revelled in the yielding conditions on the way to victory last time and although this is a major step up in grade, the likelihood of adverse conditions brings him right into the equation. He has won two of his last three and his lack of class is somewhat negated by his being in top form, having a light weight and being suited by testing conditions. John Moore-trained Surveyor was beaten 103/4 lengths by Elephant Dance and based on that performance it's hard to see him turning the tables. He did, however, finish second to Industrial Success on a soft track over 1,800 metres late last term. It is difficult to have any conviction about him seeing out this journey strongly and he would have to produce a career-best performance to figure. Red Pepper has the class but a tough task with top weight of 133 pounds. This is his easiest test for some time but he is giving weight all round and appeals only as a minor place chance. There has to be serious doubts whether Magic Hands can threaten as he strikes his toughest test to date. He prefers the city venue and, though he handles any conditions, he should be outclassed.