Trainer Paul O’Sullivan only has 12 meetings remaining in his training career and the New Zealander is obviously hoping to finish on a high.
O’Sullivan called time this week after 18 seasons in Hong Kong but he is still focused on saddling winners, with his six runners on Sunday’s Sha Tin card all holding realistic chances of finding their way into the winner’s enclosure.
Reve Parisien has turned the corner in his past two starts after disappointing on his first three runs in Hong Kong.
A good second to Brilliant Way last time followed a fine front-running win from stall 12 and O’Sullivan is confident of another big run in the Class Three Apprentice Jockeys’ School 50th Anniversary Cup (1,200m).
“He had two or three warm-ups and didn’t show too much but then he jumped and led and is doing the job well,” O’Sullivan said. “His form was franked on the weekend when the horse who beat him went in again and won and this probably doesn’t look as strong a Class Three as it was last time.”
Wisdom Patch heads into the Class Four Racing Talent Training Centre Handicap (1,200m) on the dirt off the back of a win over this course and distance and this time he will have the assistance of Zac Purton in the saddle.
“The track the other day was pretty hard and Matthew said after the race that he was feeling the ground a little, bit but he still managed to do the job,” O’Sullivan said.
“He still gets in reasonably in the handicap and he’s got Zac Purton on board. He was stiff a couple of times before winning in Class Four and he should race well again.”
August Moon has been one of the Kiwi trainer’s top performers, winning three races this term, and a good performance in the Class Four To Strive Is To Shine Handicap (1,400m) would result in another jump in grade.
“He’s done a great job this season,” O’Sullivan said. “I was squeezed for races as there is no Class Four 1,200m race [on the turf], so we’ll give him a try over 1,400m.
“If it doesn’t work out, well he’s still had a great season. He could get [to Class Three] but how he’s going to go when he gets there, I don’t know. He’s certainly improved a lot this season.”
Gang of Brothers has been threatening to get his head in front, finishing in the first four in his past four starts, and O’Sullivan stretches him out to 1,400m and switches him to Sha Tin for the first time in section one of the Class Four Hong Kong Association of Sports Medicine and Sports Science Handicap (1,400m).
“I thought he was a little bit one-paced at the Valley the other night,” O’Sullivan said. “That would indicate that he wants to go further but it’s a little bit experimental and we’ll give it a try.”
Turquoise Alpha often makes good late headway but O’Sullivan has been disappointed with the five-year-old this season and is not predicting a win in the Class Four Champion Apprentices Handicap (1,600m).
“He’s struggling,” O’Sullivan said. “That run last time might have looked a bit better to others than it did to me. He’s getting close to a class drop so I think we’ll head that way and see how he goes.”
Likeable veteran Destin rounds off O’Sullivan’s runners.