At his fourth run in this season, Dennis Yip Chor-hong's One Of A Kind looks ready to strike and looms as the best banker in the jackpot-bolstered Triple Trio, which is estimated to reach HK$4 million at Happy Valley tomorrow night.
After a tough fifth when resuming behind impressive Owners' Pride early in the term, the four-year-old has since been a runner-up on two occasions. First, Able Magic nabbed him on the line in a fighting finish over 1,400m at Sha Tin, before he went to Happy Valley for the first time, running into improving Home With Glory.
Yip had progressed his four-year-old from 1,200m to 1,400m at Sha Tin, but the city track's extended mile seems to suit him best.
Douglas Whyte has ridden One Of A Kind at each of his starts this term and he has drawn well again in the middle leg, barrier four providing him with options.
There doesn't look much pace or pressure, and Whyte will be looking to stay one off the rail and better than midfield - something One Of A Kind has the speed to do it.
All The Winners (Ben So Tik-hung) has won two of his last three, is the only out-and-out leader in the race and has drawn perfectly to take advantage of his early speed in one.
He must be included, as should Easy Gold (Tim Clark), who is getting closer to a winning mark and can also take a handy position.
The crafty veteran Peter Ng Bik-kuen will have Golden Osmanthus (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) in the winner's stall soon, and although he is disadvantaged by gate 10, he needs to go in. Very Well (Brett Prebble) has also drawn out in nine and would need some speed in the race, but brings in some consistent form.
The first leg - a Class Four over 1,800m - is an extremely even race, with no obvious favourite.
All Bountiful (Whyte) still has some improvement, but may have been exposed as simply not being that good - but he is probably good enough to win his way out of Class Four eventually and he can be counted on as a banker.
Kharu (Cheng) comes back to the course and distance for the first time since his successful run here earlier this season and his ability to race handy will stand him in good stead in what are always tactical affairs.
Also include Mount Victory (Derek Leung Ka-chun), Real General (Tye Angland) and Super Tiger (Prebble). The widely drawn Compact Yarn is likely to set the pace, with Ricky Yiu Poon-fai utilising Dicky Lui Cheuk-yin's 10-pound claim.
The final leg, a Class Three over 1,650m looks a hard nut to crack, but take a risk and go with four straight selections and no banker: Gamekeepers (Keith Yeung Min-lun), Mega Champion (Whyte), Horse Aplenty (Umberto Rispoli) and Peri Peri Saffron (Leung).
Read Michael Cox’s blog – What Back to the Future Part II teaches us about punting. Go to: http://www.scmp.com/author/michael-cox-0