Wayfoong Vinnie looked to relish a drop back in distance and is the one to beat again with a similar set-up in the Ewo Challenge Trophy (1,000m) at Happy Valley tonight.
The John Size-trained five-year-old was a winner in Class Four over 1,200m at the Valley in November but not with the authority he showed last start over the minimum trip in Class Three.
Wayfoong Vinnie (Joao Moreira) was outpaced from a wide draw and dropped back early rather than risk being wide and gave a long start to the leaders but, with a good contest for the front softening them up, he was able to overpower them in the final 100m.
As Size pointed out afterwards, getting a long way back in 1,000m races at the Valley isn’t altogether ideal because the leaders can get too far ahead and be difficult to catch.
But tonight’s race again sets up with strong competition for the front and that should ensure the leaders are again sitting down in the straight as Wayfoong Vinnie charges.
Apprentice Dylan Mo Hin-tung takes over on the very quick Travel Comforts, who has only one game, and that is to lead as fast as he can and try to run his rivals off their feet.
If he was to get loose in front, he would take some catching but one of the most reliable leaders in Hong Kong is Ocean Roar, drawn lower than Travel Comforts, and he will be there wanting the rail and the lead himself. Their battle will bring them both to grief.
The Peter Ho Leung-trained Ace King (Karis Teetan) has gone better since being a chaser rather than the chased and his best chance is opting out of the speed early and sitting fifth or sixth.
He looks the horse claiming the lead first and then hoping to hold off late claims by Wayfoong Vinnie and lightly weighted Silver Spun (Ben So Tik-hung), who has closed well at three of his four starts and had vet issues in the other.