In-form jockey Chad Schofield and a good draw might be the factors to make the difference for Vara Pearl in a very tough Kwoon Chung Bus Cup, 1,650m at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The evening’s Class Three feature is chock-full of chances and it will come down to whoever gets the right run through the race and, from barrier three, Schofield gets some sort of head start on that as Vara Pearl returns to his preferred distance.
The Tony Millard-trained six-year-old has won four times, all over the Valley’s extended mile, and he put the writing on the wall for an early victory with his first two runs this season.
After a Class Four 1,650m win to end last season, Vara Pearl returned over 1,200m at Sha Tin and found things happening far too quickly for him there and that was the case again when he went back to the Valley in a sprint too.
Even without a lot of speed on in front, Vara Pearl was terribly outpaced behind Caga Force, a significant last for most of the race but he applied himself strongly in the final 300m to make up a lot of ground on the post.
It was the run of a horse in form but unsuited and this assignment looks more tailored to Vara Pearl’s abilities.
Having said that, Vara Pearl will always give his rivals some hope due to his run-on style and he would be best suited if there promised to be a strong speed and that is a question mark.
Kingsfield (Joao Moreira), Super Fluke (Derek Leung Ka-chun) and the very fresh Outlawed look to be the ones going out for the lead early so the pace will depend on how they interact.
And that’s just one of the questions to be answered, as a case can be made for at least seven of the runners as winning possibilities.
Super Fluke has been floating around near a win for quite some time and looks a very solid threat if he doesn’t have to do as much work in the run as he did when third first-up behind Inventor.