Bold Stitch and Super Hoppy are both chasing a hat-trick of wins but they face their toughest task to date when they contest the Class Two Big Wave Bay Handicap (1,200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The Tony Millard-trained Bold Stitch came from the clouds last season when everything finally clicked for him, winning four of his five starts after taking just two of his first 23.
He saved his best performance for the final day of the season – scoring by six lengths – and jockey Karis Teetan is confident he can make the step up to Class Two.
“I think he can – for a horse to win four out of five is pretty good and last start he won by six lengths so it was impressive,” Teetan said.
“I’ve trialled him – he trialled well, the horse is going really well. He ran at the last race meeting so he didn’t lose too much of his fitness.
“It’s a big step up for him, he’s come up a lot in the ratings, but I believe he can be competitive in Class Two.”
Bold Stitch, who will carry 124 pounds, has drawn a little awkwardly in barrier eight but Teetan hopes the race will pan out in his favour.
“That’s the only thing, but they should go fast enough, so I’ll try and slot in,” he said.
“I’ve watched his races and when he has a good draw he just sits wherever he is comfortable and he finishes off strongly, so I’ll see what Tony says.”
Super Hoppy is in a similar boat to Bold Stitch, racing inconsistently in his first five Hong Kong starts before finding a new lease on life when transferred to Danny Shum Chap-shing.
The gelding rattled off two wins at the Valley to finish the season and looks ready to make progress up in grade.
Super Hoppy has drawn perfectly in barrier three and gets in well with 117 pounds.
“He seems a nice horse on the way up and hopefully I’ve got on him at the right time – Class Two, bottom weight, he’s drawn a nice gate in a race that looks to suit him with the pace up front,” jockey Chad Schofield said.
“I took him on the grass on Monday and he feels well, Danny’s got him really fit so he’s going to have his chance.”
It looks a competitive contest with Fortune Booth (Zac Purton), Magic Legend (Douglas Whyte) and Fantastic Eight (Matthew Chadwick) all in the mix as well.