John Moore-trained Dashing Fellow gave Sun Jewellery plenty to think about at his most recent start and the four-year-old can upset his better-fancied stablemates Helene Paragon and Joyful Trinity in the Sha Tin Mile Trophy (1,600m) today.
The final Class One of the season sees Helene Paragon (Joao Moreira) and Joyful Trinity (Douglas Whyte) pitted against the usual suspects – a typical collection of tough handicappers – and with the topweight giving away as much as 19 pounds in the race, and coming back from 1,800m to a race devoid of speed, he could be vulnerable.
In what looks a tactical and even messy affair, Dashing Fellow (Kei Chiong Ka-kei) looks certain to lead then slow the pace sharply, something Chiong has been in hot water over at times with stewards, but it should help Dashing Fellow to run a strong 1,600m out.
Although he struggled at the distance in the Classic Mile and the Chairman’s Trophy, Dashing Fellow’s other mile run came under handicap conditions last November in the Chevalier Cup.
That race was also run without a lot of pressure on the leaders, and Dashing Fellow was much tougher down the straight that day, ultimately finishing a half length from Multivictory in third.
In truth, Dashing Fellow’s rating probably already exceeds his ability but that is what happens with horses who have the right kind of attitude.
On Friday night, Sun Jewellery was named, somewhat controversially, Hong Kong’s champion miler for the season but he really had to work hard to get by Dashing Fellow last start on June 19 and, with a soft lead and Chiong’s claim, Dashing Fellow can be just as hard to get past today.
Moore has all bases covered as Helene Paragon and Joyful Trinity would be the beneficiaries if Dashing Fellow doesn’t get a soft lead and the pace is faster and they are strong chances too.
Both look to be heading towards playing a part in the big races next season, and we have seen emerging talents take out this race in the past on the way to Group success. But a race is still a race and if things break for their rivals and not for them here, that can mean all the difference in a race that may be more open than the market will suggest.
Tony Millard-trained Top Act (Karis Teetan) was heavily backed to beat Helene Paragon last time at 1,800m, was chopped out at the start and disappointing in the end.
However, the weight structure today means that he meets Helene Paragon considerably better at the handicaps and he looks a horse who will be better suited by the senior Teetan than by Chiong last time.