Shimmer And Shine highlighted his potential with a victory down the Sha Tin straight last start, but he might be even better on the all-weather track and he gets the chance to test that theory on Wednesday night.
After his debut run was affected by injury, the Tony Millard-trained three-year-old caught the eye in his second start before landing his maiden win last time, despite being in the wrong part of the track.
The handicapper didn’t hit him hard for that victory, only going up five points and he should take plenty of improvement from it, both in terms of fitness and experience.
He steps up to 1,200m for the first section of the Class Four Hap Mun Bay Handicap and switches to the dirt, but that looks to be a positive going on his trial form.
Shimmer And Shine has had four official hit-outs on the all-weather track, winning two of them and finishing third behind the much higher-rated House Of Fun and Baltic Whisper in early May.
“He’ll run on the dirt for sure, 100 per cent,” Millard said after his win, and that bodes well for this assignment.
Chad Schofield retains the ride and will probably try to slot in just behind the speed and find some cover from barrier nine. If he can do that, Shimmer And Shine should prove too strong in the straight.
His biggest dangers look to be Paul O’Sullivan’s Amazing Moment, who drops back to Class Four and is reunited with Zac Purton after the two combined to win earlier this season, and Bond Elegance (Joao Moreira), from the John Size stable, who has placed in his past two starts on the dirt.
While Size and the Magic Man can be in the finish of that race, they look very hard to beat in the Class Three Clear Water Bay Handicap (1,650m) with Remarkable.
The four-year-old has grown a leg since making the switch to the dirt, winning all three of his starts on the surface.
Remarkable sets himself a task by getting back early but he overcomes it with a scintillating finishing burst and that is likely to be the case again.
While he steps up in grade for this assignment, it is offset by a big drop in weight with just 116 pounds on his back.
A couple of horses towards the top of the weights could prove Remarkable’s main challengers in Caspar Fownes’ Royal Performer (Douglas Whyte) and Glorious Artist (Purton), from the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen yard.
Royal Performer has a win and two seconds from three starts this season and should be thereabouts again while Glorious Artist broke through for his first Hong Kong victory last time out and is looking to go on with it.
The horse Remarkable beat last start, Master Bernini looks ready to notch his maiden victory in the Class Four Kiu Tsui Handicap (1,650m).
The Michael Freedman-trained four-year-old put in a huge effort on that occasion, his first start on the all-weather track, with Purton going for home on the turn and trying to catch a break on Remarkable.
While he didn’t win, Master Bernini did finish second and seemed to relish the surface.
Purton, who is riding in exceptional form, retains the mount and should get a lovely run after drawing the inside barrier.
With just two wins now separating Moreira and Purton in the race for the jockeys’ championship and only 13 meetings remaining, all eyes will be on the two stars and each of their rides.
Meanwhile, Sam Clipperton will make the trip to Japan to partner Western Express in the Group One Yasuda Kinin on Sunday, meaning he will miss the meeting at Sha Tin on the same day.
The Jockey Club also announced that injured jockeys Alex Lai Hoi-wing (fractured left wrist) and Dylan Mo Hin-tung (dislocated left hip) will not be cleared to resume race riding before the end of the current season.