Chris So Wai-yin has had a couple of meetings to forget but can bounce back when Top Beautiful gets a chance to stretch out over 1,400m in the Class Three BOCHK Asset Management Handicap on Sunday at Sha Tin.
So went to last Saturday’s Sha Tin meeting with high hopes as he saddled up three odds-on favourites but watched in horror as Gouten Of Garo, Eighty Eighty and Bravo Watchman all suffered shock defeats.
Then on Wednesday night, Goldington Horn seemed to have a Class Five sewn up but was nabbed late by Smart Salute and favourite Exceptional Desire was also rolled.
Top Beautiful looks a great chance to put the stable back on the scoreboard as the four-year-old steps up in trip with a slightly better draw than last start.
So’s sprinter had won his first two starts up the straight but the trainer and jockey Joao Moreira had maintained the gelding would benefit from getting over more ground.
Top Beautiful got his chance four weeks ago when he contested a 1,200m Class Three but a wide barrier proved too much to overcome for the 2.9 favourite.
Moreira elected to go back from gate 12 and the ground Top Beautiful was forced to surrender at the start cost him any chance of winning.
Top Beautiful was also held up for a few strides in the straight, which didn’t help, and the four-year-old’s final 400m sectional of 22.58 seconds was equal with that of the winner, Super Fluke.
This looks a moderate Class Three field and if Top Beautiful lives up to his billing, he should be winning.
Barrier eight isn’t perfect, but Moreira won’t have to put the white flag up at the start either, like he did last time, and should be able to find a slightly better position in running on the B course.
Keep a close watch on David Hall’s Hard Ball Get (Matthew Poon Ming-fai), he should be better second-up and never saw daylight in the straight when resuming on October 1.
Hall’s Jing Jing Win gets a golden opportunity to deliver on the promise that saw the sprinter become one of the most talked about horses of last season when he clashes with another highly touted young talent in the last race of the day.
The three Group Two races provide plenty of quality for punters to sink their teeth into but Jing Jing Win versus the John Size-trained Beat The Clock in the Class Two BOC Credit Card Handicap (1,200m) is an enticing match-up.
The difference could be the 15-pound advantage Jing Jing Win has against Beat The Clock (Joao Moreira) and barriers are also in favour of Hall’s five-year-old – at least on paper – and ensure Jing Jing Win doesn’t “sit down” in the gates and miss the start.
Moreira reunites with first year trainer Frankie Lor Fu-cheun when Ensuring returns to the bigger track in the Class Three BOCHK Cross-Border Financial Services Handicap (2,000m).
The Brazilian jockey has compiled an outstanding record with Lor so far, winning on five of seven starts for the leading stable, but a win on Ensuring would represent the combination’s first victory outside Class Five.
From barrier three, Ensuring seems assured of a soft run from the tricky 2,000m starting point on a track that may suit the six-year-old more these days.
Lor’s old boss Size might provide the one to beat as Sergeant Titanium (Brett Prebble) steps up to a trip he has been successful at previously after the solid groundwork of four runs so far this season.
The last two have been excellent as the six-year-old has worked home from off the speed over a mile but the gelding has again drawn off the track and will again be spotting the leaders ground.