Solomon’s Bay has made an impressive start to his Hong Kong career and can cap off his first campaign with a win in the Class Two Sun Jewellery Handicap (1,200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained four-year-old was a narrow third to Infinity Endeavour after a tough run on the all-weather track at Sha Tin on debut before finishing off strongly for fourth behind Hot King Prawn at the city track last month.
Lor took him back to the trials last week to tune up for this contest and, while he didn’t beat much, he won with a leg in the air.
The gelding won three races in Great Britain before making the move to Sha Tin and there is still plenty of improvement to come as he gets more experience and race fitness.
Given that, he should take another step forward here and the addition of Joao Moreira after drawing barrier four – with just 115 pounds on his back – makes him the one to beat.
There should be a solid pace set with the likes of Fantastic Eight (Matthew Chadwick) and Jumbo Luck (Jack Wong Ho-nam), which should allow the Magic Man to take a sit in the running line either one or two pairs back.
From there, Moreira should be able to find clear running at the top of the straight and Solomon’s Bay can show what he is made of.
John Moore’s Magic Legend (Derek Leung Ka-chun) hasn’t kicked on after a promising first campaign but he looks to be one of the main dangers.
Two starts back, he finished fifth to Jumbo Luck, beaten four lengths, but now meets him 11 pounds better and should get a lovely run from gate five.
Seven Heavens (Eddy Lai Wai-ming), from the Caspar Fownes stable, is another who could be in the finish, going off his effort when second to Hot King Prawn two starts back.
Forget he went around last start when he was checked on jumping and had a laceration on his left stifle – he is capable of a big run with a light weight.
The John Size-trained Gunnison also comes through the Jumbo Luck race and meets the winner nine pounds better off for finishing fourth and has shown he is capable at the unique Valley circuit with a win there two starts back.
Those three should all be included for those playing the exotics.