Manfred Man Ka-leung saddles up the “most exciting” youngster in his stable and his first Class Two runner since November as he looks to make an impact at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Three-year-old Gluck Racer returns in the first section of the Class Four Spessartine Garnet Handicap (1,400m) and is looking to continue a promising start to his career.
After a fast-finishing third on debut at Happy Valley, Gluck Racer finished over the top of his rivals to salute last time out over six furlongs at Sha Tin.
“I hope he can do it again, he’s the most exciting young horse in my stable this season – some of the others haven’t matured yet, hopefully they will in time for next season,” Man said.
“I think he will go very close to winning again. Last time over 1,200m he came from behind and [jockey Alexis Badel] thought 1,400m might be more suitable for him.”
Badel retains the ride for Sunday’s contest and the galloper has drawn barrier five for a race that will pit him against the likes of City Legend, Faithful Trinity and Oscar Glory.
Last-start winner E Star steps up in grade for the Class Two Crystal Handicap (1,400m) after a consistent campaign that has netted two wins and two placings from nine starts.
The five-year-old is Man’s first runner in the grade since Star Of Yuen Long stepped out on November 29 and his highest-class runner since Big Time Baby tackled December’s Hong Kong Sprint.
But while happy to be there, Man doesn’t expect his first Class Two victory since Big Time Baby saluted in the grade on the all-weather track in February last year.
“It’s getting difficult for him now that he’s in Class Two and he’s drawn 11 so it’s quite dangerous,” said Man, adding that with six wins and over HK$5.5 million in prize money, E Star has “already done his job”.
Also among Man’s six runner is V Chevaliers, who has drawn the inside alley for the second section of the Class Four Spessartine Garnet Handicap (1,400m).
V Chevaliers has been a fine soldier for Man since joining his stable from Peter Ho Leung during the off-season, delivering him three of his 25 winners for the term as well as placing three times and only finishing more than two lengths off the winner once from 10 starts.
V Chevaliers is a horse in-form, securing his third win this season at just his fifth run for the campaign, this time under a determined @AlexisBadel! @francegalop @equidia #HKracing pic.twitter.com/RnBzx89yrG— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 16, 2020
Regular rider Alexis Badel jumps aboard for the eighth time in 2020-21 after Derek Leung Ka-chun took the reins for the gelding’s last start.
Despite V Chevaliers consistency, Man wouldn’t be drawn on what he expects from his galloper in a race where he will carry the top weight of 133 pounds.
“I hope he can produce another good run but in racing you can’t be sure,” said the succinct 63-year-old.
Man also saddles up Ruby Stars, Good Beauty and Farm Bumper as he looks to work his way to the top of a mid-table logjam in the trainers’ premiership, which sees him sit 12th – narrowly behind Chris So Wai-yin and David Hall (26 winners) and just ahead of trio Jimmy Ting Koon-ho, David Hayes and Me Tsui Yu-sak on 24.