Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s rising star Mission Tycoon can continue his progression up the ratings in the Class Two Hong Kong Reunification Cup (1,200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The three-year-old has shown plenty of promise in his three Hong Kong starts, and while he has only won one of them, it looks like bigger things are in store.
He was unlucky last start, just held up for a few strides at a crucial early in the straight when finishing a head behind Jumbo Luck.
Mission Tycoon tuned up for this assignment with a dominant trial victory – something he is making a habit of, having won his past four by a combined 21 lengths.
But trial wins don’t mean much unless they translate to race day, but that shouldn’t be a problem for this gelding.
Mission Tycoon has drawn perfectly in barrier four, and he gets the services of Joao Moreira, who spurned another boom youngster in Raging Storm to maintain the ride.
The Magic Man should be able to position just behind the speed, likely to be set by Baltic Whisper (Zac Purton), ideally one-out, one-back.
From there, he can peel out at the top of the straight and show what he is capable of.
Mission Tycoon has already shown he can be competitive in Class Two and that is the challenge facing John Size’s Raging Storm, who is the main danger.
The three-year-old has flashed plenty of potential with three wins from his first five starts and he has climbed sharply (22 points) in the ratings.
While he was able to handle his rivals in the lesser grades, Class Two is a different beast as every horse has ability.
Chad Schofield takes the ride – an interesting booking considering this is just his third ride for Size this season – and he will be keen to impress the soon-to-be 10-time champion trainer.
He has to overcome a tricky barrier (10), but Raging Storm has shown himself to be versatile and has the sprint to be right in the finish.
Of the others, the Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained Star Shine (Douglas Whyte) is racing in terrific form and needs to be respected.
He is another lightly raced type stepping up to Class Two for the first time but has progressed well in his first season.
Caspar Fownes’ Seven Heavens (Alberto Sanna) also creates some interest, he has taken a few runs to find his feet but caught the eye with a fast-finishing second to Hot King Prawn at Happy Valley last start.