It’s all coming up Alexis Badel at present and things have again fallen his way ahead of Sunday’s meeting at Sha Tin, with a trio of sought-after rides falling in the Frenchman’s lap.
After following up his biggest Hong Kong victory aboard Healthy Happy in the Classic Cup last Sunday with a Class One success atop Sky Field at Happy Valley, Badel heads to Sha Tin with an enviable arsenal.
His light weight has enabled him to pounce on the undefeated Winner Method and the progressive New Future, while an untimely Neil Callan suspension sees Badel jump aboard debutant E Brother.
An impressive victory on debut under Zac Purton last month saw Winner Method hit with a nine-point hike in the ratings, moving the son of Deep Field to a mark of 61.
His 115-pound impost for the Class Three Nam Wan Handicap (1,000m) is far too light for Purton, with Danny Shum Chap-shing turning to Badel.
“He seems to be a very nice young horse. He’s been working very well and for sure he’s got great ability,” Badel said of the three-year-old, who he partnered to victory in an all-weather trial at Sha Tin on February 19.
“He’s a very good horse to pick up and I’m sure Zac was disappointed not to be able to make the weight but that’s the way it is. I hope I can give my best on the horse.”
The race shapes as one of the most enthralling of the season, with Manfred Man Ka-leung’s Trillion Win also looking to back up an eye-catching debut win.
Precocious speedsters Joyful Fortune and Super Axiom are among the challengers, with both youngsters out to replicate their scintillating maiden victories after some mixed performances since.
New Future has also moved to a rating of 61 after finishing 10th, first and second in his first three starts and this time it’s Blake Shinn who is unable to make the weight.
Badel has barrier 11 to negotiate in the Class Three Tai Mei Tuk Handicap (1,400m) and says he had his eye on Benno Yung Tin-pang’s gelding after watching him sail past on his way to second at the Lunar New Year meeting.
“I was riding against him in the previous race and I thought he produced a very tough effort. I knew after that second place he would go up in class and I was able to use my weight advantage to get on the horse,” said Badel, who partnered Light Of Wanshi to fifth in that race. “Benno put his faith in me so I hope it goes well.”
E Brother debuts in the Class Four Ting Kok Handicap (1,200m) and Callan made no secret of his opinion of the horse after partnering him in all three of his trials, the most recent of which he won.
With Callan in the midst of a three-meeting suspension, Badel had no hesitation filling the void.
“Manfred has been a great support as well so I’m glad he thought about me and he offered me the ride,” he said. “The horse has been trialling well, I think he’s still a bit of a baby but it’s going to be interesting.”
Badel’s nine-strong book features a number of other gallopers set to be competitive, including Bella Baby, Winning Method, Telecom Rocket and Big Fortune.