The Caspar Fownes-trained Sky King was unable to maintain a perfect dirt record last start on the surface but looks the winner for punters to take home from Wednesday night’s Lung Hang Handicap (1,650m) at Sha Tin.
Sky King (Douglas Whyte) had been impressive winning both of his Class Three extended mile runs on the all-weather track and was sent out as the favourite to keep that trend going in a Class Two on March 12 as a result.
But horses with his run-on style won’t get trouble-free trips every time and so it proved, with Sky King working into the race when the doors shut at the 300m mark of the race won by People’s Knight and that was that.
He drops back to Class Three company here, and there looks to be the same kind of speed up front that was present last time he won, beating King Genki (Alvin Ng Ka-chun) on March 1.
The Tony Cruz-trained King Genki worked hard going forward that night while Sky King took his usual time to find his feet and was full of running to overpower the gelding in the final stages.
If King Genki gets a soft run near the front in this, Sky King might find him harder to run over, but that isn’t really the way this sets up and it looks almost a replay for Sky King with almost the same cast.
Red Marvel, Little Dragon, Travel First, Deja Vu and possibly Turin Pearl will all want to race forward and ensure that King Genki will have to work to get under or around them racing to the first turn.
And that is just the scenario that Sky King loves, saved for a late run to storm home as the front-runners tire.
That’s also a scenario to suit Divine Boy (Alex Lai Hoi-wing), who is at his best when saved for a late run and he looks the main danger after charging home for an eye-catching fourth in the same race behind People’s Knight last start.