Doctor Geoff has been knocking on the door and is ready to land his first Hong Kong victory when he steps out in the Class Two Manawatu Racing Club Challenge Trophy (1,800m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The talented four-year-old has placed four times from his seven starts since arriving from Ireland – where he won two from three – while he has never finished further than sixth.
He was narrowly beaten by Caspar Fownes’ rising star Rise High last start and that augurs well for a strong performance here.
Doctor Geoff also gets the magic of the Tony Cruz and Zac Purton combination – the two enjoying a ridiculous strike rate in the past two months with five wins from nine runs together.
Cruz’s team is in terrific form, winning the final seven Group races of the season, while the Australian jockey is riding as well as ever with a personal best 126 winners so far with six meetings remaining.
This is the first time Purton will ride Doctor Geoff in a race and he should give him every possible chance after drawing barrier two.
Stablemate Jolly Gene looks the sure-fire leader and, after finding a prominent position last start, Doctor Geoff can settle in the box seat.
From there, Purton should be able to keep an eye on all his rivals before making a move either on the turn or at the top of the straight and can prove too strong for his rivals.
His biggest danger looks to be the John Size-trained Insayshable (Joao Moreira).
The four-year-old has only had one start in Hong Kong – also after winning two starts in Ireland – finishing third to Classic Cup winner Singapore Sling over 1,650m at the city track in December.
But not long after that Insayshable fractured one of his hind legs, forcing him to have a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
However he has been building up solidly and has now trialled three times with the champion trainer ready to take him to the races.
Insayshable clearly has ability, but it is a tough ask to win an 1,800m Class Two first-up against some fit opposition.
If you’re looking at other horses to put into the multiples, Danny Shum Chap-shing’s Winning Faith (Alberto Sanna) is racing well, as is the Richard Gibson-trained Litterateur (Neil Callan).