Punters should have faith in a John Size-trained trio with just two previous race starts between them when making Triple Trio selections for a jackpot-boosted pool at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Premiere, Unicron Jewellery and Beat The Clock – all progressive Class Four runners, and all to be ridden by leading jockey Joao Moreira – appear to be standouts in a TT holding a HK$11.5 million carry-over.
Premiere’s debut seemed a little rushed last start, something that is rarely said about a Size runner, as the trainer appeared to try and take advantage of a weak restricted race for three-year-olds with a precocious talent.
The move nearly paid off, Premiere finishing a game second to the more experienced Cheers Win, which had the benefit of a run already this season and two other trips to the races last term.
Moreira rode Cheers Win that day but now climbs aboard Size’s horse in another straight race, now against older horses.
This is a harder task than last time, but expect Premiere to have taken a lot from his first run in terms of both fitness and experience.
This race may be harder than the questionable quality of age-restricted company, but it’s not overwhelmingly strong as far as Class Four straight races go either.
Art Of Success (Douglas Whyte) found some consistency late last season and has continued in the same vein this term, trainer Michael Chang Chun-wai wisely keeping the veteran to the only course and distance where he has ever shown some ability.
Happy Sound also goes in with Dylan Mo Hin-tung’s 10-pound claim well-utilised on a horse returning to what looks his best course and distance.
It looks a contest open to the younger horses with upside and Danny Shum Chap-shing’s debutant Autopay (Nash Rawiller) should be considered, along with Junzi (Neil Callan) and Don Wongchoy (Brett Prebble), who was closing nicely just behind Premiere last start.
In the middle leg, Moreira gets on another second-starter, Unicron Jewellery, that looks well-placed in a 1,600m Class Four.
The first part of Unicron Jewellery’s name looks like a misspell or typo, but is actually the name of a robot from the cartoon and action movie series Transformers – and the four-year-old won’t have to have changed much after a sound debut to be competitive here.
Unicron Jewellery was held up for a run until quite late for Keith Yeung Ming-lun when fourth behind Victory Master and now returns to the same distance with an ideal three-week break.
A nice draw will allow Moreira to sit off the speed and see what transpires in a contest containing a lot of horses capable of sitting handy and an obvious leader in Glory Star, with Mo aboard.
Even though Dragon Warrior (Craig Williams) has been disappointing in his two starts and has drawn wide, he has to be included in a weak race, while Fancy Music (Callan) and Argentum (Sam Clipperton) also go in.
Keep a watch on Blazing Pass (Karis Teetan), who flew home for fifth in the same on-pace dominated race won by Victory Master, especially if there is above-average tempo.
In the final leg, Size sends Beat The Clock to the races over 1,400m first-up after some eye-catching work at the trials.
Barrier 14 in a 1,400m race containing some in-form runners doesn’t look great, especially for a three-year-old having his first race start, but Beat The Clock has done enough to suggest he has a few ratings points to work with here.
Clever Spirit (Teetan) also needs things to go his way after drawing barrier 13, but is a chance, along with Good Method (Luis Corrales), Hit A Home Run (Opie Bosson) and Hastily Feet (Whyte), who has finally drawn a decent gate.