There’s nothing simple about the Cricket Club Valley Stakes (1,800m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night but the Class Three trophy offers the Caspar Fownes-trained Istanbul Bey an excellent chance to make his local breakthrough.
In the field of 12, punters can hardly discard any runner as a possible winner so luck in running and the right ride will probably decide the issue and Joao Moreira and gate one look powerful arguments to say Istanbul Bey might get both.
Although a winner in England at Redcar and York by wide margins, Istanbul Bey nevertheless beat some very common opposition in those races and did not arrive here with the kind of form that screamed progressive.
He has taken time to adjust to his new surroundings but has been dropping in the ratings at the same time and now, having plummeted from 75 to 62, finds himself at the right kind of level to break through and that has been evidenced in his form.
Istanbul Bey ran improved races behind Little Dragon and Golden Sleep over 1,650m at Happy Valley before Moreira jumped aboard last time stepping up to 1,800m and punters made him one of the favourites in the race won by Victory Boys.
It would be hard to make a case that he was unlucky there but Istanbul Bey did continue his improvement to be beaten only two-and-a-half lengths and a repeat of that puts him in as a leading chance but any further improvement and the trophy will be his.
Gate one should ensure the grey is no further back than midfield in what looks a slowly run race with High Volatility (Derek Leung Ka-chun) taking up the running as he did in the Victory Boys race when second.
He might get a soft time there and be tough to run down but High Volatility remains a slight risk at the 1,800m especially if any rival decides to make him work.