It's 'take two' as Prince ready to make amends
After a 'test run' in Class Three last start, Elusive Prince gets another try in the same grade tomorrow night and stands out as a reliable banker in the middle leg of the Triple Trio at Happy Valley.
Bolstered by a HK$4 million jackpot, the midweek TT is worth chasing, and counting on the dependable duo of John Size and Douglas Whyte can eliminate some guess work.
The Size-trained Elusive Prince was chasing a hat-trick of wins as favourite when a barrier mishap saw him left at the gates 14 days ago.
Missing the kick by nearly 10 lengths, the four-year-old was found to have been restrained by a barrier attendant and stewards declared him a non-starter.
Whyte tacked on to the field and allowed the gelding to stride home, but didn't knock his mount around.
Consistency is the hallmark of Size's horses and it's hard to imagine Elusive Prince not holding his form and finishing in the top three.
This time he has drawn three, is beautifully weighted on 118 pounds and can pick up the win he was meant to grab two weeks ago.
Smart Kids surprised with a tough on-pace win last time out and Tye Angland gets his first ride on the four-year-old. From barrier two, expect a similar run and put him in.
Of the others, the Tony Cruz-trained Regency Luck hit a flat run last start, but can be forgiven as he seems a whole-hearted performer. Green Zone gets another go at Happy Valley after two solid dirt runs and the Richard Gibson-trained Friends Of Yan Oi seems well-placed in this grade.
The TT is bookended by heats of the International Jockeys' Championship, the first leg being a Class Four over 1,650m.
Barrier draws are critical over the two-turn trip, especially with unfamiliar jockeys up. Mighty K would probably start favourite had he not drawn widest of the 12 runners, but at least gets a local in Matthew Chadwick who knows his way around the city track.
The Caspar Fownes-trained three-year-old has been solid in three starts, but he has never dealt with a double figure draw, nor raced at the Valley. In the wash-up, he goes in, but as no sure thing.
The allocation of Whyte to the Peter Ho Leung-trained Easy Ahead gives him some appeal as banker. Barrier eight isn't great, but his runner-up performance last time out from gate 11 - when used up early and throwing the race away late - gives some confidence he will run well this time. Romancing Tamar (Frankie Dettori) dead-heated for second behind Let's Goal last time over this course and distance, but got the cushy box-seat run, and this time he has gate seven. Drawn three is John Moore's Sunny More (James McDonald), who is yet to win but seems capable of winning in Class Four.
The final pin is the third leg of the Jockeys' Championship and this time Matthew Chadwick gets the perfect draw (one) on the Size-trained Delta Hedge.
The Private Purchase is on debut after five trials and has the early speed to take advantage of pole position - first-up in a Class Three over 1,650m at Happy Valley is a big ask, but the draw is everything.
Drawn next to him in two is 77-start veteran Great Achievement, who could probably find his own way around this course without jockey Johnny Murtagh.
The in-form 10-year-old has raced at the track 34 times and notched a remarkable eight victories over this course and distance. Others to put in are Ho Wongchoy and Kick Serve, while My Goal could run a race if left alone in front.
The Triple Trio amount that will be paid out for a $10 ticket tomorrow night