Shining chance to ease the pain

Robin Parke

HARD-WORKING Australian rider Peter Hutchinson can bounce back from a Happy Valley tumble on Wednesday night to provide punters with a solid banker for the second leg of the Double Trio on Ladies' Day at Sha Tin tomorrow. Interestingly, Hutchinson will come head-to-head with American international riding star Julie Krone in the modest Classes Five and Six, 2,000-metre event which is programmed as the second leg of the popular bet.

The visiting rider fell from sprinter Jacko after the post on Wednesday and was forced to forfeit two later rides. Hutchinson partners Everbright for in-form trainer Eddie K. C. Lo while Krone will be on the Australian's last-start winner, Supreme Sovereign, for trainer Alex Wong Siu-tan.

That in itself is an intriguing little tussle, but Hutchinson may well have the right one in Everbright who could scarcely have been more impressive - in the context of this modest affair - when finishing second at his seasonal debut to shock winner Joyful Delight at Happy Valley on September 28. That was a fine first-up effort over 1,800 metres and the step up to tomorrow's distance is just what this fellow is looking for.

Given that excellent run and the benefit of a hard race, Everbright is going to strip a fit horse for this event and has a clear edge on many in this field. It is worth noting that around this time last season Everbright was finishing just over a length second to City Raider in a Classes Four and Five race on the Valley equitrack - and his conqueror is now in Class Two.

Supreme Sovereign had not won for over three years when making all for Hutchinson in a mundane Class Six midweek event at the Valley and he will not be getting his own way in this. But the out-and-out stayer will appreciate the trip and remains a very major chance in the race. Paradise put in a good run behind easy winner Ellen's Voyage last time, but is an unreliable conveyance while Saint Dragon Hill has plenty to do to turn the form around on Everbright.

Chances at the bottom end of the combined handicap should include Lucky Pal, Truly Easy and Karaoke. Lucky Pal should run a decent race over this trip and Truly Easy caught the eye with a good first-up effort. The first leg of the Double Trio has attracted a field of only 11 and the Wong Tang-ping stayer Miss Piggy could be banker material here - possibly at a price. On his best form the ineptly named Miss Piggy is still well handicapped and with Simon H. K. Yim aboard, will be carrying little weight over this 1,800-metre trip. Miss Piggy has continued to blossom since a solid second at big odds on opening day to Best One who has gone on to win since.

While this is clearly harder, Miss Piggy could still be on the right side of the assessor - and that is not something that can be said of too many in racing here. Wonderful Way looks a solid chance for champion trainer Ivan Allan and has been working particularly well. There can be no doubt that this one has got class.