TOPWEIGHT Turf Champ can spring a minor surprise by turning over likely hot-shot Leprechaun in the opening event on today's big Sha Tin programme. This is a card that should have the fans rolling in and with the washout last week plus a mundane midweek equitrack card, it will be surprising if there are less than 50,000 on course. And they could get off to a lively start by siding with the Ivan Allan-trained Turf Champ where Basil Marcus takes over from Frankie F. C. Lor after the gelding's useful seasonal opener. Turf Champ is a winner over today's 1,200-metre trip in good time and he looks absolutely ready to perform to his full potential today. He led the field until halfway in his first outing for the season down the straight 1,000 metres and there must be grounds for optimism that he can lead this field. Marcus is jumping from barrier nine but he can certainly get across and there is no doubt that Turf Champ can run this out strongly. Leprechaun looks certain to start favourite having been a shade unlucky not to score at the first time of asking this season. The 1,000 metres looked on the short side for him but he came within a short head of victory. And on the face of it, the Derek Cruz-trained galloper has drawn well as he is right against the rails - but that might be a doubtful advantage in this event. Leprechaun may not have the initial speed to get away smartly and that could prove costly. Good as Leprechaun may be, it would be difficult to concede too much ground to a horse as handy as Turf Champ. Racing Star also has quinella and tierce claims on the strength of his two runs so far this season. Both those have been over the short sprints at Sha Tin and Happy Valley and stepping up to 1,200 metres today will be in his favour.