Races don’t come any tougher than the Community Chest Cup (1,200m) but the season-opening trophy race at Happy Valley looks an opportunity for the Richard Gibson-trained Powermax to add to a handy record.
Gibson got away to a fast start for the season with Rattan on Sunday and the very consistent Powermax (Umberto Rispoli) finds a race he can win – if he gets the right trip.
Maybe the key to his chances will be new jockey Rispoli keeping focused at the start, where Powermax has not always been foolproof and anything but a good start tonight could see him in a tricky spot.
But a clean break can see him handy to the likely leaders, I’m A Witness and Who Else But You (Karis Teetan) and his resolve at the business end of his races might be enough to get him home.
In nine Valley runs, Powermax has won three times and finished in the first four at his other six attempts, seven of those over the 1,200m, and that has been excellent yield as he has been unlucky in races at times.
That includes his last-start fourth in June, when caught three-wide in running but Powermax still applied himself manfully to be beaten just over a length in a similar race.
But punters looking for a standout are in for a shock – six or seven of the 12 runners are quite capable of taking the prize.
Peace N Prosperity (Matthew Poon Ming-fai) looks a danger as his draw ensures he will get a nice trip in the race and the strong chances also include Dollar Reward (Zac Purton) and Cheer Win (Joao Moreira).
Frankie Lor Fu-chuen won with his first runner on the weekend and will be right in the thick of things with another acquisition from retired trainer Gary Ng Ting-keung, Who Else But You. He has a difficult draw but enough talent if he is over the foot problems that cost him most of last season’s racing.