It might require some tactical tweaking but the John Moore-trained Sea Jade looks to have the Hong Kong Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation Centenary Gold Cup (1,200m) at his mercy at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
And that might be the longest race name all season and the fanciest for a Class Three ever.
Sea Jade swaps suspended Zac Purton for Douglas Whyte and Class Four for Class Three, but his dominant win in the lower grade last start showed the lightly tried three-year-old is on the improve and he clashes with a motley crew of horses at their peak, past it or who haven’t shown they even have one yet.
Sea Jade had two runs as a two-year-old but was in need of growing and strengthening and he has returned a better proposition at three and put a big gap in an average field last time, leading throughout at his first look at the Valley 1,200m.
Importantly, his issue here is not that he is drawn a little wider but that the other speed horses are out there too. Sea Jade can cross the ones inside but the risk is that the likes of Fish N Chips, Buddy Bundy or Easy Touch want to press forward from their wide draws in an effort to get across. Two of them, Fish N Chips (Nooresh Juglall) and Buddy Bundy (Alexis Badel) have jockeys riding for the first time at Happy Valley, so how they handle it will be the key to how much pressure goes on the front here.
If Whyte can stay out of a cutthroat war for the lead and keep some energy back for the finish, Sea Jade should be good enough to win.
The booking of Joao Moreira for Travel Datuk suggests improvement is likely after excuses over 1,650m at his first run down in this grade. He had some decent juvenile form in Ireland and he looks the danger.