Lansbury’s first local win has been longer arriving than probably trainer David Hall or the gelding’s owners might have hoped but the six-year-old gets a great chance to break through in the Po Leung Kuk Centenary Cup, 1,200m on the Sha Tin all-weather on Sunday.
Although Lansbury (Karis Teetan) has not won, he has been held back by some health issues and still run very consistently in most of his ten starts, most recently finishing fourth, fifth, third and then a first-up second over Sunday’s course in Class Four.
He rises into Class Three, but the positive in that is not having to lug around 133 pounds, as he has done regularly in the lower grade.
When Lansbury resumed earlier in the month, he had Joao Moreira aboard when he raced covered up three wide and was wearing down Smiling Glory in the final stages only to fail by a neck to overhaul him.
That was good enough to win this race if he can simply hold that form and a good draw should help the son of Trotamondo to do that.
The pace in the race shapes as Timely Arrived trying to cross over from barrier eight and Beauty Connection (Moreira) and Harbour Alert either trying to keep him out or surrendering and taking a trail.
In the meantime, Lansbury should prove faster early than Looks Like The Cat, the only horse drawn beneath him, and take up the box seat position on the rail following the leaders to the home turn.
Teetan will be hoping that, whoever leads on the rail, the leaders can kick on a little in the straight to at least take him to the 200m and that should make it easier for him to find his way clear and prove too strong for them late.
Moreira goes from Lansbury to Tony Cruz-trained Beauty Connection, a speedy horse who won two out of two attempts in England on the all-weather at Wolverhampton, although it must be said his two prior efforts here on the dirt haven’t quite lived up to that old form.
He is a danger to Lansbury, as is the enigmatic Tianhuang (Sam Clipperton), albeit from an awkward gate and his best chance of winning would come if the leaders got involved in a battle for the front.
The best of Tianhuang could blow this field away but, as we’ve seen, he doesn’t always turn up for his races and has disappointed frequently.
Other winning chances look Deja Vu (Derek Leung Ka-chun), who was caught wide when he resumed, and even Great Sky (Alex Lai Hoi-wing) who has changed yards in the summer and the eight-year-old all-weather specialist trialled very nicely.