Legendary jockey-turned-trainer Douglas Whyte is hoping a switch back to the dirt and the addition of blinkers for the first time can spark up his talented galloper Will Power.
The four-year-old hit the ground running to start his career, winning three of his first four starts, but has put in below-par performances in his two runs in Class Two.
While he was well beaten in both of those efforts, Whyte said he was not disgraced and the first-season handler believes he has learned lessons from the experience.
“He might be a one-dimensional horse, he has got to give them some start and have the last crack at them,” he said.
“I still believe he can handle the turf. I just think being ridden closer to the pace, which we did when we took advantage of the light weight and the draw, [was the issue].
“It was a good experience last time, I think he ran with credit all things considering.”
Will Power again gets in at the bottom weight in the Class Two Arculli Trophy (1,200m), where he faces seasoned dirt sprinters in Ugly Warrior, Gunnison, Encore Boy and Red Desert.
Whyte believes dropping a furlong back in trip may also prove to be a game changer.
“He is back to his pet distance and surface but it is a very competitive field, he has been given a hiding by a couple of them already but he is in good enough form to come back to the races,” he said.
Whyte, who is well entrenched among the top half of trainers in Hong Kong in his first season, is looking to build on his total of 37 winners for the season.
The 48-year-old takes a team of eight to Sha Tin as he looks to build some promising horses towards next season.
Headlining that batch is exciting three-year-old Galactic, who steps out in the Class Four Chan Trophy (1,400m).
The son of Deep Field put the writing on the wall in his first two starts in Hong Kong but then folded badly last start as a $2.90 chance.
Whyte, who still rides his horses in work each morning, said he was prepared to excuse the poor showing as he looks towards next season.
“Being a three-year-old, he had a testing second section of the race so he seemed a bit disappointing but there were probably reasons for it,” he said.
“He has trialled well and his work has said to me that he is back in good form.
“He is a big horse and he is only a three-year-old so there is going to be a lot of him next season, so this is probably heading towards his last run of the season.
“He does idle a little bit in trackwork, he looks around and is a bit of a thinker, in a good way.”
It comes as it was announced that Whyte will be able to expand his training operation to the Jockey Club’s Conghua facility in mainland China next season.
The legendary figure of Hong Kong racing currently has his stable full to the brim and will be able to expand further to 70 horses with the additional boxes.