Prince Harmony was only overhauled late last start, but he can go one better in Sunday’s Class Three Members Cup (1,200m) at Sha Tin.
The Chris So Wai-yin-trained five-year-old came second to the promising Star Shine in his most recent run and the key to that performance was the fact he controlled the race from in front.
Leading jockey Zac Purton takes the ride on Sunday and he should be able to dictate things again, having drawn perfectly in barrier three.
Prince Harmony has plenty of early speed, but there are two wild cards in the battle for the front – Cruising (Umberto Rispoli) and Alcari (Karis Teetan).
The Benno Yung Tin-pang-trained Cruising is making his Hong Kong debut after winning two races in South Australia to earn his ticket to Sha Tin and has won two barrier trials in the lead-up to this contest.
He was prominent in both of those trials and clearly has the capabilities to take up the early running if Rispoli wants to.
Alcari, from the Ricky Yiu Poon-fai stable, sat on the pace for his debut win but hasn’t been back to the winner’s circle since.
The trainer has put on blinkers for the first time and he is another one who could vie for the lead from barrier eight with the gear change.
But even if Prince Harmony does face some competition for the lead, Purton can manage the situation by either holding the front or taking a sit.
The booking of the Australian rider is a strong pointer to Prince Harmony’s chances with Purton hunting for every single win as he pushes for the jockeys’ championship.
Purton sat on Cruising in his most recent trial and he has also ridden Danny Shum Chap-shing’s Lucky Hero (Jack Wong Ho-nam) in three of his five races, but has elected to jump aboard Prince Harmony.
Cruising is the clear danger, but it is always tough for previously raced horses to win in their Hong Kong debut.
He will be better for whatever he does here, but Cruising’s trials suggest he will be winning races soon.
Alcari and Lucky Hero are the other two horses to throw into the multiples in a race that seems pretty thin on paper.