A tricky pace scenario might just play into the hands of the John Moore-trained Lotus Strikes Back in the Chinese General Chamber Of Commerce Cup, 1,800m, at Sha Tin on Sunday.
On another marathon 11-race card, the Class 3 is the trophy event and presents without a recognised leader in the race but Lotus Strikes Back (Sam Clipperton) might just have the draw and the tools to take advantage of that.
The 1,800m trip seems to be Lotus Strikes Back’s distance, with most of his best runs and his only win coming over the trip and when he was successful at Happy Valley, a tempo that was just even allowed him to stay in touch with the front runners instead of giving too much of a start.
That scenario could play out again here, as there are no leaders in the race except for the lightly-weighted Cloud Nine (Kei Chiong Ka-kei) but he can miss the jump at times too. Still, with a long run to the first turn and a light weight, it won’t surprise if Chiong persists in pressing ahead with Cloud Nine looking for the lead.
The stablemate Allcash (Karis Teetan) is another who can get forward in races and so too Green Dispatch (Nash Rawiller) but the body of the field is made up of back runners.
That could allow Clipperton to have Lotus Strikes Back three back on the fence in running and nicely poised coming into the straight and his two efforts at Happy Valley this season have been sound enough to suggest he can be in the finish from there.
His main danger looks Easy Hedge (Joao Moreira) who loomed and his condition ran out at his first run for three months but should present a fitter animal.
He is drawn out but looks to map midfield wide with cover, which might not be a bad place if the tempo is a bit choppy, as Moreira will be in a spot to decide where and when he makes his move.
Easy Hedge is still fairly lightly-raced with some upside and, with a good trip, he should be right in the fight.
Green Dispatch must have a chance after decent first run for Danny Shum Chap-shing at Happy Valley, although there is a slight cloud over him at Sha Tin on the main track – his best efforts to date have been on the dirt and at the Valley. Whether he is a firm track horse remains to be proved but he has had excuses so far in his Sha Tin runs.
Also a hope is Allcash, a one-paced type but sound enough first run back at Happy Valley and he has run decent races at Sha Tin.