The right barrier draw can prove the winning difference for Green Dispatch in a highly competitive Japan Racing Association Trophy, 1,800m, at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained four-year-old has raced well for his new yard in two starts this term in Class Three, and rises to Class Two now on the back of his last start win at Sha Tin.
His prior run fresh over this course showed that Happy Valley has no fears for him and Green Dispatch only needs to match either of those efforts to run well.
The rise in class gives him a sharp weight drop which helps his prospects but the biggest edge for Green Dispatch (Chad Schofield) is the run he will get from gate two.
This race contains little in the way of recognised speed, other than Travel First, who looks a ready-made leader for apprentice Kei Chiong Ka-kei under only 110-pounds.
Green Dispatch should slot in behind Travel First, in the box seat, relax and wait for his opportunity, while two of his major opponents, Basic Trilogy (Zac Purton) and Winnie’s Honey (Joao Moreira) will have to deal with wide draws.
For Winnie’s Honey, that looks a real problem as he will likely settle down at the tail of the field and be hostage to the pace. For Basic Trilogy, it might be less of an issue as he has the early speed to go up and sit outside the leader but, with 133 pounds on board, he only needs one other opponent to get the same idea and make him work and he is toast.
And these aren’t the only chances in a race with some depth where nobody can afford to have much go wrong. The Paul O’Sullivan-trained Star Majestic (Neil Callan) should settle in a worthwhile spot midfield and is well up to winning it, while Ambitious Champion and Divine Boy are threats as well.