RISING star Winning Partners can continue the fine start to the present season of trainer Neville Begg and jockey Darren Beadman by winning the sponsored Hermes Cup at Sha Tin today. This 1,400-metre Class One race, however, means a lot more to connections of several horses involved than a handsome piece of silverware, some tasteful Hermes souvenirs and the prize-money cheques. An invitation to take part in next month's International Bowl could well hang on the outcome of the race, which sees some suspect and some fading starts involved - as well as the one who looks on his way to the top, Winning Partners. There is only one blemish on Winning Partners overall record and that was a second placing by a head when he should have won by two lengths. There was probably no greater certainty beaten in Hong Kong all of last season. The public duly weighed in at Winning Partners first run of the season when he was backed down to 11-8 favouritism over 1,000 metres. In an impressive performance, Winning Partners gave nothing else in the race a chance. Winning Partners winning credentials are safely established and he is currently on a rating of 106. Given the faulty form of some horses rated above him, he is obviously earmarked for the International Bowl, but he does need to win here to boost the present rating. As has already won course and distance and has come out of his first race extremely well - Winning Partners looked first class in a grass track workout on Tuesday - the Australian five-year-old looks the one to be on. Dissatisfied connections of Concert King have turned to Canadian Dave Penna for the riding chores on the troubled six-year-old. A one-time bleeder, who finished last at his seasonal debut, there are question marks all over Concert King. He finished virtually 30 lengths from the winner last time and, on form like that, Concert King cannot be supported here. French trainer Patrick Biancone has applied the blinkers to Quicken Away, but it really does seem to be a desperation measure. The grey gelding has run pounds below his form at his first two starts and there absolutely no encouragement to be had from hislast run at Happy Valley. Super Fit sprang a major surprise at big odds last time when just touching off Fastabob in the Remy XO Cup and will be ridden by Lawrie Fownes' stable jockey, Darren Gauci. The trainer's other runner, Kadbridge, goes to Irish champion Mick Kinane and it is an interesting booking. Kadbridge has had two outings at Sha Tin over the longer sprint there and was not that far away at his mmost recent run when just under four lengths off Sound Print in the Happy Valley Trophy, first leg of the inaugural Sprint Championship. But this trip and track is much more to the liking of Kadbridge and it would be advisable to put the gelding in quinella and tierce bets. He has solid winning form over this trip and in good time, too. The two Valley runs will have brought him on plenty and he should be absolutely ready to give a top account of himself here. If Concert King and Quicken Away run to their most recent disappointing form then it could easily let Kadbridge in - although Winning Partners remains the one they do have to beat. Trainer David Hill starts both Red Ruffian and Compradore with an improved run expected from the former. He started in the Happy Valley Trophy, but finished well back. He had earlier been taken out of the Remy XO Cup field with a heel problem and missed almost a week's work. That took its subsequent toll, but with the Valley run behind him, a more forward showing can be expected in today's event. Hill has put crack Australian rider John Marshall up on Compradore and he expects the former Sydney champion jockey's vigorous style to be exactly what is required on the Irish import. There is certain to be support for Mount Hansen to be ridden by Tony Cruz, but the question mark here would be over the trip. Mount Hansen has been effective to date over the longer sprint and is by a former topline Australian sprinter suggesting he might just struggle against some of these to see out a strong 1,400 metres. However, he did come from second last to mow down the field two starts back for Randy Romero over 1,200 metres and hit the line full of running. He is a tierce possibility. Former champion trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee starts a trio of runners here, while recently disappointing Dashing is also involved. The Geoff Lane-trained Dashing has a lot to find on most recent outings and best of the Kan brigade would seem to be reliable Right Way. Happy Guy, however, ran a decent race last time at Happy Valley and might do something at big odds.