Danny Shum Chap-shing's rising star Town Of Fionn is expected to notch his sixth victory from eight starts and take out the feature event on the opening day of the new season, the $1.6 million HKSAR Chief Executive's Cup (1,200 metres). Shum has wasted no time in bringing the talented chestnut back this season following a highly successful campaign last term where the son of Snippets doubled his rating (52 to 104) in eight starts. The exciting aspect to the progression shown from Town Of Fionn was his best effort came on his final start when defeating Special King Prawn in the ATV Cup (1,400m). There is an old saying that horses who go out on top, come back on top, and the adage may well be spot-on here for the free-going chestnut galloper. Town of Fionn displayed the grit and determination of a potential champion on the way to victory. His turf trial last weekend indicated Shum has him primed to run up to his best and he must rate a top chance of adding to his tally. One of the obvious threats comes from Caspar Fownes' consistent galloper The Duke who also caught the eye in the heat won by Town Of Fionn. He only failed to pick up a cheque for connections twice from 12 starts last season and has never failed (from six starts) to hit the frame over 1,200 metres. The main concern is whether he can concede nine pounds to Town Of Fionn and still prevail. After proving Silent Witness with a real scare in the Sha Tin Sprint Trophy last season, David Hayes Planet Ruler proved rather disappointing. He never managed to recapture anything like that form in the early stages of last season was good enough to suggest he merits respect today from gate one. Stablemates Wyndam Easy and Always Welcome look the logical leaders although it is unlikely either will apply too much pressure in that role. The former was safely held (seven lengths) by Town Of Fionn in the ATV Cup and it is difficult to envisage him turning the tables this afternoon. This is a major step up for Always Welcome who hit a purple patch of form towards the tail end of last term. He is competitively weighted but would do well to fill a minor place. Last season also proved a shade disappointing for Super Brose who only hit the frame once from seven starts. Handicapper Ciaran Kennelly hasn't been overly lenient with his reassessment of Super Brose, considering some mediocre performances, and it's difficult to have any confidence about his chances today. John Size has a couple of decent outside chances with Palette Natural and Grand Delight. The former would undoubtedly prefer a shade further and with the pace likely to be closer to moderate than fast, he may have a tough task under top weight (132 pounds) of reeling in the leaders with his trademark swooping finish. Grand Delight promotes interest given Kennelly dropped the former Sprint Champion nine points in the ratings after a relatively poor season. This is certainly an easier test and the multiple course-and-distance winner is worth keeping safe. Fantasy is always a hard one to catch right but this is a major step up in grade and his early season form has never been anything special. Bull's Eye has failed to hit the frame in all seven attempts over the course and distance and from a wide alley (gate 11) can be opposed. The 10 pound claim of Alex Lai Hoi-wing brings Sirocco (rated 96) competitively weighted with 103 pounds and he did win on a mark of 95 last term. All of his wins have come over a mile on either course and while he would prefer further, he could be a value chance to sneak into the frame.