The John Size-trained Unicron Jewellery has been a model of consistency and gets the right draw and the right set-up to get his reward in Sunday’s 18 Districts Cup (1,600m) at Sha Tin.
Unicron Jewellery (Joao Moreira) has won three times from his 13 career starts and has been even more solid this season as a five-year-old, with six starts for two wins and two placings, all of them over this distance.
As a four-year-old in his first campaign, the gelding had looked to struggle to hold his form from one run to another and especially when he rose to Class Three, but that hasn’t been the case this time and he has made Class Three his home lately.
Even hampered in his efforts by wide barriers at his last two starts, Unicron Jewellery finished in the minor placings behind Super Form and Everest, but this race bears more of a resemblance to his race three starts back.
On that occasion, he drew barrier two and Moreira was able to camp in the box seat with him, never went around a horse and Unicron Jewellery really never looked like losing, drawing off by a length-and-a-half at the finish.
On Sunday, he has barrier five but one or two of those inside him don’t have a lot of early speed – the pace is out wider.
The John Moore-trained Agree has been racing well in or close to the lead, so there seems no reason for him to take an alternative tack, especially given that there are no other recognised leaders in the field.
That always carries the potential for surprise leaders but the map looks nice for Unicron Jewellery whether that happens or not.
Marvel Joy has been racing quite prominently at Happy Valley at his last two runs and he looks like he will be first to the box seat position, but Unicron Jewellery might well land in the spot outside him and just behind the front-runners. If he does then, even if there is a surprise squabble for the lead, that shouldn’t prove a concern for the favourite.
The field looks quite even after Unicron Jewellery and the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained Tai Smart (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) might represent a danger from his inside draw.
He was sound behind Rule Three two runs ago then had to make a long run around the field when Jolly Gene was setting a strong speed last time and couldn’t sustain it. He is back in distance after racing in 1,800m races but his best distance doesn’t seem to be established yet and the lightish handicap he has to carry might assist.