Joao Moreira doesn’t have quite the strike rate with David Ferraris that he has with other yards but he should improve that tonight in the second division of the Hung Hom Handicap, 1,650m on The Sylph.
Moreira has won only one of his 10 rides for Ferraris this term – a far cry from his usual 20 per cent-plus overall and as much as 50 per cent with some stables – but it’s a small sample and another four of those rides have run second and two have finished third.
So it isn’t what it looks like at first glance and, when you add the Brazilian’s record on The Sylph himself – three rides for a win and two seconds – it isn’t anything to put you off.
The Sylph took his time to win a race at his 25th time of asking in July, but he did become a very solid, consistent horse during last season and remains well placed off a 66 rating for a horse who should certainly climb to the top of Class Three.
He has the coveted barrier one on the treacherous C+3 track which should allow him to follow around in the middle of the field on the rail, and a light enough weight in 120 pounds to see him strong at the paying end.
The presence of Happy Spirit (Neil Callan) and Choice Treasure with Kei Chiong Ka-kei going aboard, will surely see a good even speed to give every horse his chance, and The Sylph will be better suited by that than the slow tempo he struck behind Super Fluke last time.
The other horse who looks blessed by the draw and tempo looks to be King Of Mongolia (Nash Rawiller), who ran a decent race first-up this term from an inside gate but hasn’t been helped at all by wide barriers in two runs since. The Rawiller-Danny Shum Chap-shing combination has turned into a formidable force in the past six months.