Solar Hei Hei may not be the best horse David Hall has trained but there’s no questioning his attitude and the tough and willing five-year-old gets the set up to win the Chevalier Cup, 1,600m on Sunday at Sha Tin.
The gelding has been an unassuming character throughout his career, showing early promise in his first campaign then building on it with four wins from 11 starts last season and a Chevalier Cup would see him reach a new peak.
But Solar Hei Hei (Brett Prebble) has been excellent in his two 1,400m starts back from the summer break, finishing off well into fifth behind Mr Bogart first-up then holding his own in the dash down the straight when the race won by Jolly Banner three weeks ago wasn’t run to suit the big finishers.
That gives him the platform he needs for the lift to 1,600m and a rise in class that will see his handicap weight drop from 127 pounds and 131 pounds at those two runs to just 118 pounds with Prebble’s one pound over.
And he gets a pace scenario that will suit him too.
Twin Delight has his blinkers back on and likes to lead but whether he can hold out apprentice Dylan Mo Hin-tung on Precious King rolling down from gate 11 with just 111 pounds on board remains to be seen.
That should ensure a generous tempo that will let the run-on horses get into the race, Solar Hei Hei maps to sit in front of most of those in about midfield and that gives him first run at the leaders as they get to the 200m and he loves a fight if they are coming at him late.
His danger looks another underrated horse, Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained Circuit Land (Nash Rawiller) who blotted his copybook by standing at the start last time but his record shows he is more reliable than that and it shouldn’t be held against him.
Circuit Land loves some speed on and was impressive two runs ago coming from the rear to win in Class Two with top weight but he doesn’t get any relief at the weights here and the 15 pounds between them in the handicap has to swing things Solar Hei Hei’s way.